Adam Yates: Going one-two with your twin brother at the Tour de France, not many can say that

Adam beats Simon Yates in Bilbao, but says his brother will be a 'pain in the ass' in the coming weeks

Adam Yates on stage one of the Tour de France 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Almost everyone - if they're not an only child - has memories of special moments spent with a sibling. It could be a trip to Legoland, rushing downstairs to open Christmas presents together, or going on a first night out together. Not many siblings are able to say they have been locked together in a battle for a stage of the world's biggest bike race, and the most famous leader's jersey of all.

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) and Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) are not ordinary people. In fact, they have been some of the best bike riders in the world for the past few years, sharing 54 professional wins between them. The twins from Bury might be exceptional bike riders, but it was still a unique situation for the pair on Saturday evening, as stage one of the Tour de France ended in delight for one Yates, and regret for the other.

The pair attacked down the final climb of the day, the Côte de Pike, and stayed away from the likes of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), in order to go pedal-to-pedal up a punchy finalé. Adam took the initiative and had more energy than his brother, storming to his first Tour and Grand Tour stage win.

"It was a super special experience. To go one-two on the final climb with your brother is not something many people can say, so it was really nice," Adam said post-stage. "He did most of the work on the descent and on the flat, because obviously I had Tadej behind. With four, five kilometres to go, I got the call from Tadej saying I could work, and we went full gas to the finish, so it was a super nice experience, and a great day."

It was a gutting finish for Simon, coming second to the man who he has probably raced the most over his 30 years, from the streets where he grew up in Lancashire, to the streets of Andorra, where the pair live, close together.

"It's difficult," Simon explained. "I'm pretty pleased for him, [it's a] first Grand Tour stage. Of course I'm ecstatic for him, but I also wanted to win, we're quite competitive. Like I said, I'll try and get the better of him in the coming days."

Adam was wary of his brother's threat in the coming days, as he will seek to get one back over him.

"When we got away together I said, 'I can't work, I can't work', and he knew how it was," Adam said. "He's professional, I'm professional, and that's professional bike racing. Then I got the call that I could start to work, and we went full gas to the finish.

"On the final climb I managed to have a bit more energy, because he spent some on the descent. But he's still in super great shape, I'm sure he's going to be a pain in the ass over the next few weeks."

Adam Yates on stage one of the Tour de France 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The pair's parents are on the roads of the Tour, and saw the special moment. It is not the first time the twins have finished first and second at a race - that was at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2013, where Simon won - but this is a whole different level. It must be an odd feeling to experience jubilation and yet empathy for your brother's loss, which Adam went through, and then feel regret and also happy for your brother, as Simon did.

"I have a fantastic relationship with my brother, so I'm really happy for him, and I'll stick it to him in the coming days," Simon explained. "They're [his parents] out on course somewhere, I didn't manage to see them, it was too hectic. They're following the whole thing, I'm sure they'll see us come past tomorrow."

"We’re super close, I've spoken to him every day for the last 15 years, well, 20 years," Adam said. "We’re really close, but this year, we did preparation differently. He's been training alone, making sure he stays out of trouble, and I've been doing Dauphiné, and I was in the Sierra Nevada before that. So I've been with my team for a long time, and he's being doing his own thing. When we're back in Andorra, he lives five, ten minutes away, so we see each other whenever we can."

Despite the stage win, and the time in yellow that follows, Adam is realistic about his job at this year's Tour de France: he is here to help Tadej Pogačar win. This is despite the team trailing Adam and Pogačar as co-leaders last week.

"At the end of the day, we're here for Tadej," Adam said. "For me, he is the best rider in the world, he's been the best rider for years now, and we 100% back him. If I can help him out with tactics like today, chipping off the front and causing a bit of carnage, then that's what we'll do. Depending on the race, depending on the situation, we'll see."

Sunday is another day, another hard stage, but Adam Yates and UAE Team Emirates have already stamped their authority on this year's race. Now we will wait and see if Simon has a response.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1