Adam Yates will return to the Tour de France in 2018 to lead Australian team Mitchelton-Scott, with brother Simon Yates tackling the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España alongside Colombian team-mate Esteban Chaves.
Adam Yates will be the team’s sole general classification contender at the Tour, but will share team leadership with Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan, who will make his Tour debut.
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After finishing fourth in the 2016 Tour and claiming the white jersey of best young rider, 25-year-old Briton Adam Yates did not ride in 2017, instead focussing on the Giro and Vuelta.
“It feels good to be going back to the Tour de France and I am very excited about the challenges it will bring,” said Yates. “The Tour will always be a special race for me having watched it growing up through to getting the opportunity to race it for the first time in 2015.”
“I am still developing as a rider and, as always, do not feel pressure after my result in 2016, I will do my best and we will see how it goes. It was good to try a different race programme last year but there is no denying that I am looking forward to lining up in Vendee next July.”
Yates’s team have ushered in several changes for 2018, a change in name from Orcia-Scott to Mitchelton-Scott and – more importantly – the recruitment of climbing super-domestique Mikel Nieve from Team Sky to provide mountain support.
Although the 2018 Tour route is one of the shortest in history, it is still packed with challenges – not least stage nine’s cobbled sectors.
“The route looks as challenging as ever,” said Yates
“The Tour de France is always a very stressful race as everybody is out to perform at their highest level which makes it even harder.”
“There are a few challenging stages to begin with, especially stage nine over the cobbles from Arras to Roubaix, but I as always will have a strong team around me who will look after me before we get into the serious mountain stages.”
Meanwhile, twin brother Simon is looking forward to the chance of a ‘fresh challenge’ in tackling the 2018 Giro and Vuelta. He finished seventh in the 2017 Tour despite a late call-up, and claimed the best young rider classification just as Adam did the previous year.
“I am excited for a fresh challenge,” said Simon Yates. “After originally targeting the Giro last season and then my plans changed last minute to race the Tour, so I am happy to finally get to race the Giro.”
“The Giro always has a hard parcours and 2018 will be no different. It will be an extremely difficult race and I look forward to the new challenge.”