Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) happily stays out of the spotlight of the Tour de France with the more serious days ahead in the Tour de France.
So far in the 2019 edition, not much has been said about Yates – and it is better that way.
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“I’m trying to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible,” Yates told Cycling Weekly.
“Everyone knows it’s going to be won in the back week, this first week and a half is about saving energy and staying out of trouble. So far, we’ve done a good job.”
Yates rode at the sharp-end of the race in stage 10 when it split in the crosswinds. With Geraint Thomas (Ineos), he gained 1-40 minutes on rivals like Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Jakob Fuglsang (Team Astana).
The Briton now sits 1-47 minutes behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and importantly, only 35 seconds behind 2018 Tour victor Thomas.
On Thursday he’ll face the first Pyrenean stage to Bagnères-de-Bigorre before a 27km individual time trial in Pau on Friday. The weekend will see tough summit finishes to the Col du Tourmalet and Prat d’Albis during the Tour’s stay in the Pyrenees.
“The first week was nice, actually, much better than last year, with nine to 10 stages of flat and then a cobble stage,” Yates said.
“Now we have a GC challenge, a couple of lumpy stages and twisty ones, so far I have not crashed, which is a bonus! Much better than last year.”
Yates came in with a clear goal of riding as high as possible in the 2019 Tour de France after giving it a shot in 2018, and placing fourth in 2016 and winning the white jersey of best young rider.
Simon Yates will support him. Last year, Adam helped his twin brother win the Vuelta a España overall, and now the roles are reversed. And similar to the 2018 Vuelta and Adam’s ride, Simon is riding to save as much energy as possible for the serious mountain days coming in the Tour, where his support will be crucial to Adam’s hopes of winning.
“Pretty much, you won’t see much of him. You might have seen him on the TV at the back end, when the camera’s at the back of the peloton!” Yates said.
“I did the same thing in the Vuelta, nothing, but get bottles for the first two weeks and then I was fresher for the final week when it mattered. He’s doing the same thing and hopefully we can employ the same tactic here.
“He’s all right, he’s goal every day is that as soon as he goes super hard is to just lose as much as time as possible and staying the time limit, that’s it.”