Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) remains uncertain what went wrong in this 2019 Tour de France. His overall hopes have disappeared for a second year and thoughts now turn to a stage win in one of the Alpine days to come.
The vibes were positive, however, around the Mitchelton-Scott hotel in Nîmes, where the race stopped for its second of two rest days on Monday. Twin brother Simon Yates just celebrated his second stage win two days ago and the third of the team in the 2019 race.
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“In reality, it’s not gone to plan. It’s frustrating,” Yates told Cycling Weekly. “It’s hard to say why, I don’t really have a reason.
“And yes, it’s one of those things, some days you have a bad day. And if you have a bad day in the Tour, you end your GC chances. So we just gotta switch mentality now and into some stages.”
On the Tourmalet on Saturday, Yates slipped behind by 6-42 minutes, and currently sits 30 minutes behind overall favourite Geraint Thomas (Ineos).
The Australian WorldTour team, Mitchelton-Scott continue their fight, however.
South African champion Daryl Impey won stage nine, Simon won in Bagnères-di-Bigorre and on Sunday, at Prat d’Albis. Head sports director Matt White cried as Simon crossed the line such was the effort and closeness developed with the Yates brothers since they turned professional with the team in 2014.
“Our tactics had to change, to hunt for stage wins,” White said. “Now’s definitely not the time to analyse why.”
“For sure it’s difficult for Adam. But you saw last year, he can switch focus and go for stages. He came close 2018, but crashed in the stage when Alaphilippe won in Bagnères-de-Luchon.”
Adam Yates, 26 from Bury, cannot give a specific reason why his Tour de France GC ambition derailed. In 2018, the team put it mostly down to hydration.
“After the TT, I had bad day on the Tourmalet. But in general, I’m not I’m not in bad condition. I feel quite good, even in this late stage of a race. But if you have one bad day, your GC chances over,” Yates continued.
“I can’t give you one reason why, it’s just one of them things. It’s not just me who has had a bad day. At some point, everyone has a bad day.
“I could sit here and you know, be frustrated and be down, but we’ve got three opportunities to win and we’re going to go all in hundred per cent.”
Yates’s Grand Tour dreams remain, however. He placed fourth in the 2016 Tour de France and won the young rider jersey. He has also helped Simon win the Vuelta a España in 2018 and seen him win stages in all three Grand Tours.
“At this point in time, it’s hard to say. I don’t really have a reason. Maybe I raced too much early in the season and maybe did a bit too much intensity leading into the Tour. It’s hard to say, I haven’t really got reason,” he continued.
“We will eventually sit down and look at what what happened. But in general, the season’s already been a success for me. I won a few bike races and been consistent all year.”