‘It was fun while it lasted’: Adam Yates goes down fighting as he relinquishes Tour de France yellow jersey

The Brit will now return to his primary objective at the Tour - hunting down stage victories

Adam Yates went down fighting as he lost the yellow jersey at the 2020 Tour de France, finally distanced from the race lead for good on the Col de Marie Blanque, as the GC battle burst into life for a second day in the Pyrenees.

“I did everything I could. I said from the very beginning, even before the Tour started, that I wasn’t at 100 per cent,” Yates said after the finish of stage nine. “And I think we did well. We hung on for as long as we could. And yeah, there are a couple of guys going better than me. So I did the best I could and I think we can be proud.”

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After being gapped on the Col de Marie Blanque, Yates fell into the third GC group on the road, as Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) found themselves behind Roglič and company.

“I could see them [up ahead] but on a climb like this, it’s pretty steep, you can see them but they’re actually quite far away. So yeah, came up short but still a lot of stages to come and a lot of stages which suit me,” Yates explained.

“We were going full gas on the descent, I had a couple of guys with me – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Miguel Ángel López (Astana), Enric Mas (Movistar), and we worked well together but the gap was just too big.”

Yates fought valiantly to keep yellow as long as possible, having clawed his way back into the front GC group on stage eight, but after the rest day, he will assess his options, potentially sitting up and losing time so he’s allowed off the front in search of stage wins.

“Yeah for sure. We’ll have to look at it. I think I’m going to look forward to the rest day first before we start thinking about next week. But there are a lot of stages which suit me, particularly in the final week. We’ll have a rest day first and I’ll let you know after that. The next couple of days are flat. It might be pretty easy to lose some time.”

As for his days in yellow, that’s something no-one can take away from the Brit.

“It’s a big honour riding in yellow,” Yates added. “It was good fun while it lasted.”