Adam and Simon Yates will be hoping to seal their moves up to the WorldTour with performances at the eight-day Tour de l'Avenir, the amateur Tour de France currently taking place.
World points champion and 2011 Avenir stage winner Simon has been strongly linked with a move to Sky next season while Adam, who has spent the season riding in France for the CC Etupes amateur team, underwent testing with the FDJ team in June with a view to a possible move in 2014 or 2015.
The identical twins, who recently celebrated their 21st birthday, trained together in the Jura and are confident of putting in a performance that will help secure their futures in the professional ranks.
"It's the big one really, all the big teams look at it as if it's the race which produces the next generation," said Simon of the mountainous Avenir, which this year includes two summit finishes including the Col de le Madeleine. "This year, every stage race I've done I've finished in the top ten overall and I've been one of the strongest on hillier days. Hopefully I can get a good result overall."
"If I'm going the same as I have in any other race I could easily have a top ten," said Adam. "I could even win it if I have some good legs."
The pair form a two-pronged attack for the Great Britain team at the race, supported by Olympic Academy Programme riders Owain Doull, Ali Slater and Sam Harrison and IG-Sigma youngster Joe Perrett. Competition is expected to come from in form amateurs Julian Alaphilippe (France), Sean De Bie (Belgium) and Silvio Herklotz (Germany).
"There are always unknown quantities in that race but they've come good at the right time, they just need the right break now," said Academy manager Keith Lambert. "Hopefully they'll come up with something good and then it would be hard [for WorldTour teams] to resist them and turn them down."
Former Tour de l'Avenir winners or runners up
Nairo Quintana, Andrew Talansky, Jan Bakelants, Rui Costa, Tejay Van Garderen, Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema, Tony Martin.
How do you tell Simon from Adam?
Identical in all but name, the Yates twins are notoriously difficult to distinguish.
"You'd have to look at their different bikes," says Keith Lambert. "Even when they're out of the saddle they look just the same. It's uncanny!"
In order to see just how similar they really are, Cycling Weekly asked the pair the same quick fire questions when one was in France, the other in the UK
|I bet Simon said Rodriguez! It's the same for me. That's who I want tobe like when I'm older.||Cycling idol?||I look up to Joaquim Rodriguez at the moment.|
|White, easily. Unless it's raining.||Black socks or white socks?||White, definitely.|
|I can't stand them. If it's sunny and 15 degrees I'd quite happilytake them off.||How hot before leg warmerscome off?||Approaching 20 degrees. Maybe just a bit under.|
|Standard coke and a coffee. A cappuccino.||Café stop order?||Cappuccino. Nothing to eat.|
|Exactly the same.||And for your brother?||Probably the same. And a can of Coke.|
|Don't have anything like that. I'm not really superstitious.||Lucky charm?||Not really. I'm not one for superstitions.|
|I always put my number on my jersey before getting changed.||Pre-race ritual?||I always put my right shoe on first, more of habit than anything else.|
|First thing that comes to my head is Jason Statham. He's a big hitter.||Actor to play you in afilm?||I'll go with Jason Statham. A bit of a unit.|
|iPod on shuffle. Dance trance mostly, anything to get you going.||Warm up music?||I'm into my dance trance music. Anything by Mat Zo.|
|Nothing yet! I was in France and I had a race the day after.||What did you get for your21st birthday?||Nothing! I think it might be waiting for me back in Britain.|
|Nothing, never do! He has the privilege of knowing me, that's a giftin itself.||What did you get yourbrother for his 21st?||I didn't get him anything, he didn't get me anything. Pretty normal,that.|
|Liege-Bastogne-Liege, or Tour of Lombardy. I bet Simon said the same,didn't he!?||Most like to win?||Tour de France or Amstel Gold.|
The original version of this article appeared in the August 22 2013 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine
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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.
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