Adam Yates 7th on stage 8 as ORICA-GreenEDGE fight on at the Tour de FranceSat 11 Jul 2015
British twins Adam and Simon Yates have featured on the final climb of stage eight of the Tour de France, Adam going with an early move on the ascent before holding on to finish seventh.
After several days nursing wounds from crashes earlier in the week, it was finally time for a now six-man ORICA-GreenEDGE to fight back.
The 181.5km stage was always going to come down to the final two-kilometre climb of the Mur de Bretagne.
Whilst Adam Yates went with a three-rider move in the first half of the climb, Simon Yates waited with the likes of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff – Saxo) and Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Having also been part of the initial move on the climb, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) launched a secondary attack and went on to a solo victory. Adam Yates held on to finish seventh, whilst Simon Yates rolled across on the same time in 23rd.
“These little climbs are difficult climbs,” Adam Yates said. “If either one of us could have got up there and challenge for the win that would have been the best.”
“We did what we could, I’m not sure what position we came but we will keep trying for the next stages.
“The first attack (Vuillermoz) did I actually followed and then there was a bit of a lull and people came around, but then I don’t think anyone could follow him the second time.”
It was the team’s first attempt at a result after a costly start to this year’s Tour de France and sport director Matt White was pleased with early signs, particularly from the Yates brothers.
“It was a pretty hard run in to the final two kilometres with a lot of drag which ended up seeing a bit of a reduced sprint into the two kilometre to go mark,” White said.
“Pieter Weening and Luke Durbridge put both Yates brothers into a good position coming into the last climb. From there, Adam was to go with moves which he did and Simon was to wait for if it came back together.
“Adam had very good legs and was able to pop back in and hold his position to finish seventh and Simon has had a good ride too.
“It’s a good sign for things to come. It shows both boys are in good nick and there is still a lot more racing to come.”
The peloton didn’t allow much advantage to the move of four riders who escaped early on in the eighth stage.
They hung out between two and three minutes ahead of the pack for long enough to contest for major points at the intermediate sprint with 70km to go.
The battle for the minor points by the green jersey contenders back in the peloton caused a reaction that saw the end of the first move and creation of another.
Again, the new group of three were left hanging out in front of the peloton, Cannondale-Garmin particularly keen to keep an eye on proceedings.
As expected, it all came back together on a fast approach to the final climb before the fireworks began.
Tomorrow’s team time trial will be an interesting one. Teams will arrive fatigued after a somewhat dramatic opening eight days of racing and some, including ORICA-GreenEDGE, down on numbers.