Yates flies to a stunning fifth place on his first TT test of the season

Briton Simon Yates showed signs of his early season form today on day four of Paris-Nice, flying to an impressive fifth place in the individual time trial, after passing the first intermediate check point fastest.

The 29-year-old, set off as one of the late starters and eventually finished with a time of 16 minutes and 21 seconds, good enough for fifth, only 11 seconds down on the stage winner Wout van Aert.

The short 13.4km course had a variety of characteristics, with fast downhills, steep pinches, and windy roads before a hard 900m climb to the finish line in Montlucon.

The strong performance moves the Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider up to 4th place on the general classification ahead of four mountainous stages as the peloton makes its way towards Nice.

Simon Yates – 5th place:
“I’m pretty happy with that obviously, it’s the best TT I’ve done for a while. The first climb, the first little drag there was where the difference was made really, I mean on the downhills you don’t make that much time up, well these big guys maybe make up a bit more than me because of the weight advantage, then from that point on it was just full gas to the line. 

Sometimes I do some good numbers and finish last, sometimes I do some bad numbers and finish quite up as well. A lot of it is just pacing and holding a really good aero position and that’s what these specialists are good at. Once you get two weeks, three weeks into a grand tour it’s also different, you’re not fresh anymore, you can’t do the same power, or least I can’t because I’m tired, maybe these big guys can.

It’s really fantastic [the new equipment], and unbelievable difference, I’m really happy with it.

One of the reasons I wanted to come here instead of Tirreno, is because its a bit more of a lumpy TT, in Tirreno the road is quite flat, out and back, British ‘10’ style, so it’s hard for me to really test myself there, you just do 400 watts and that’s it. But here you really have to pace it, judge the corners a bit as well.

For me personally, it’s good that I’m feeling good, I feel like I’ve got good form, but that doesn’t always translate to a grand tour later in the year, so we’ll see.”

2022 Paris-Nice stage 4 results:

  1. Wout van Aert 16:20
  2. Primoz Roglic +0:02
  3. Rohan Dennis +0:06
    5. Simon Yates +0:11

General Classification after stage 4:
1. Wout van Aert 16:20
2. Primoz Roglic +0:02
3. Christophe Laporte +0:28
4. Simon Yates +0:49

Photo: Getty Images