Adam Yates admits he’s ‘got some catching up to do’ as his twin brother Simon notched the final Grand Tour stage victory missing from his palmarès at the Tour de France.
Simon took stage honours on day 12 of the 2019 Tour from a breakaway, as Adam guarded his general classification position in the group of favourites behind.
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The brothers, both with Mitchelton-Scott, are riding the Tour with very different ambitions, as Adam aims to improve on his best fourth place GC finish while Simon hopes to support his brother in the unrelenting mountains to come.
But Adam revelled in the success of his twin, celebrating as he heard about the victory over the radio with around 15km left to race himself.
Speaking after the stage, the 26-year-old said: “He’s done well hasn’t he? Obviously you won’t have seen him much of him, other than him being at the back of the peloton for two weeks.
“The one time he manages to get to the front, he manages to win.
“He’s got more wins than me and now he’s got a win in all three Grand Tours and I’ve got none. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but it’s fantastic for the team.”
Simon deliberately lost time in the opening stages of the Tour de France 2019, as he vowed to support Adam’s overall ambitions.
The win takes Simon to six Grand Tour victories, with one in each of the three week races, while his brother has yet to raise his hands in the biggest races.
With two stages of the Vuelta a España in 2016 and in 2018, when he won overall, three stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, Simon added a stage of the Tour.
Simon’s support role in the mountains comes after a disappointing 2019 Giro, where he entered as a serious threat for the overall but only managed eighth.
After deliberately losing time in France, Simon started stage 12 in 84th position on GC, more than an hour down on race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), freeing him up to make it into the 40-rider break and fight to the line with Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Simons’ victory is the second for Mitchelton-Scott at this year’s Tour de France, after Daryl Impey also won from a breakaway on stage nine to Brioude.
Adam added: “It’s not long between the Giro and the Tour, so even if you have a bit of time off you can still come through and perform. He’s obviously shown he can do it and next up he’s got the TT, so he’s got a rest day tomorrow and then he’s back at it.
“To have two stages early is always good for morale and hopefully we can get some more.
“If guys want to go up the road and win more stages that’s fine by me. We’ve got two but I’m happy if we’re greedy and win some more.”
Adam now sits seventh overall heading into the TT at 1-47 down on Alaphillipe, and with Simon looking strong the pair are likely to be formidable in the mountains.