The Briton will likely lead the GB team in Innsbruck along with his brother Adam

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the Vuelta a España, but began the stage race “a little undercooked” with the World Championships in mind two weeks later.

Yates won the Praeres summit stage and led the race for four days now. He wants to make up for the Giro d’Italia and win the Spanish Tour in Madrid on September 16. However, in the back of his mind, he dreams about winning the World Championship road race in Innsbruck on September 30.

“I came in a little undercooked and looking to build form in the coming weeks,” Yates told Cycling Weekly.

“We will see how that goes, I’ve never done it before, I only did the World Championships once as a pro in 2014. We will see how it goes, I feel OK now.”

Yates is one of several riders aiming to continue from the Vuelta a España, building form in Spain, to race the Worlds. The riders beginning in Málaga two weeks ago included Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), the winner of the last three Worlds, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).

Simon Yates on stage 12 of the Vuelta a España (Sunada)

However, Yates must consider that he is racing and emptying his tank for the chance to win the Vuelta.

“Any saving energy for the Worlds? For me no. I try to win here, I try to do the best I can,” Yates continued.

“For me it’s more about how I come out of it rather than what I do in the race. Making sure my recovery is good in the immediate days after the race. There’s not much to it, you don’t have to do much work to get there, we do the work here, so it’s OK.”

Yates is expected to help lead the British team in the worlds with twin brother Adam Yates, who is also racing in Mitchelton-Scott’s Vuelta team. Both Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome have said that they will not attend.

The Innsbruck course this year suits climbers. The course includes 4670 metres of climbing with a hard Igls climb on the circuit.

Once the dust settles in Madrid, Yates will return to his Andorra base to “recover well” in the two weeks heading towards Innsbruck.

“I won’t do that much, just making sure I recover well. I’ll do one or two long rides, but you really just got to take care of yourself, that’s the main thing,” Yates said.

“All the work is done here, there’s no improving in those two weeks. It’s just about taking it easy and recovering well.”