Adam Yates said he was happy to settle for third on stage three of the Tour de France 2020, realising the limits of his abilities when up against Julian Alaphilippe in a sprint finish, especially with the Frenchman's appetite for the yellow jersey.
"In the final I got away with the two guys. The little fella [Marc Hirschi] was not contributing much but in the end we started working well," Yates said after the finish. "And then I was never going to win the sprint was I? So I think third was the best I could have got out of that situation."
After a bruising day for the peloton on stage one, the two category one climbs on day two provided little relief, with Yates saying he could already sense the tired legs in the bunch.
"It was a really hard day out. Even the climbs at the beginning were ridden at a good solid pace. You could feel the fatigue, you could see a lot of people suffering just like me.
"Jumbo-Visma were riding quite a hard pace anyway, so I waited until a little steep bit and then jumped across and tried to work straight away.
"All in all a good day."
The finish along the Promenade des Anglais would have provided some perfect nominative determinism, but the Brit ended up on the front on the run-in to the line and also didn't have the power when faced with a headwind along the seafront.
"It was a block headwind and I ended up on the front. So not a good scenario for me there. But like I said, I was probably never going to win that sprint anyway, they are both faster than me. So yeah, have to be happy with third."
Expect to see more from the Mitchelton-Scott rider in his final Tour for the Australian squad before his move to Ineos, as he has been set on riding an attacking Tour since the start of the year.
"I said to the team last winter that I wanted to come to the Tour and be aggressive in the first week, and they’ve allowed me to do that," Yates said.
"So here we are: stage two. Amongst it. And plenty more opportunities to go."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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