Simon Yates says he’s approached the Tour de France with a “different mentality” after he struggled to perform at his best in the Giro d’Italia.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider deliberately lost time in the first week of the Tour, freeing him up to fight for stages while also supporting his brother Adam’s overall ambitions.
Simon believes a relaxed attitude is the difference between his disappointing Giro and the French Grand Tour, where he has now claimed two stages.
Speaking after he rode to the summit of Prat d’Albis on stage 15 alone, the 26-year-old said: “I was okay [at the Giro], I just wasn’t at the level I wanted to be. A top-10 is still really good by some people’s standards. I just set myself a high bar. It was a bit disappointing.
“I’ve come here with such a different mentality. I’ve not come here with any ambition for GC whatsoever and I’m very relaxed and going about it how I want and racing the way I want, which is being quite aggressive and I enjoy that.”
Yates made it into a 28-rider breakaway early in the stage between Limoux and Foix, on a second consecutive mountain stage in the Pyrenees.
After bridging across to an attack by Simon Geschke (CCC Team) at the summit of the Mur de Péguère, Yates launched a solo move with 9km to race, finishing with a 33 second lead over Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) as the GC battle played out behind.
Yates added: “It does feel a bit different to my first stage win. I really raced from the beginning to the final. It was very proud of what I did there.”
The win is Yates’s second of this Tour, after he won from another breakaway in Bagnères-de-Bigorre on stage 12.
He added: “I came here to support my brother and my secondary objective was to win a stage.
“Now I have two stage wins already, I will continue to support the team or try again in the mountains.”