Adam Yates challenges with GC favourites on first mountain stage of Tour de France

Tue 14 Jul 2015

In his first Tour de France, 22-year-old Adam Yates has finished an impressive seventh on the first mountain stage of the 2015 Tour de France.

Straight off the rest day, the peloton were thrown a 15km hors category climb to finish stage ten, many of the overall favourites losing significant time.

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Yates was one of the last twelve riders to remain in contention for the stage before an initial attack by Movistar saw him lose touch. The move was then countered by Chris Froome (Team Sky) who went on for a solo victory.

Finishing just over two minutes behind Froome, Yates fought on to finish ahead of some big names including Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team).

“I was in a good position because we took it easy in the team time trial so I am probably a little bit fresher than some of the big GC guys,” a modest Yates said.

“I was distanced when Contador was dropped and I just rode at my own pace. I worked my way back up and I caught up to (Tony) Gallopin and we worked together to catch the other guys.

“I couldn’t go much harder than that, I was pretty much full gas.”

Sport director Matt White was impressed with Yates’ performance, particularly his maturity.

“Incredible ride by Adam,” White said. “Top ten in the Tour de France on the first mountain day is a very very impressive ride, especially with his age and as his first Tour.”

“He showed a lot of maturity not to panic. It’s easy for young guys, or anyone really, when they are riding for the win to try to go one group too far or push it too far. Once you hit the red line, there is no coming back.

“But Adam controlled well and in the end it was a very classy ride.”

How it unfolded

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bretagne – Seche Environnement) looked like having a long and lonely day out in front before Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis Solutions Credits) eventually decided joined him.

The pair rode out to a sizable fourteen and a half minute advantage before Movistar decided to take over from Team Sky at the front of the peloton and upped the pace.

Despite still holding onto an advantage going into the tough final 15km climb, the pair soon blew and the peloton came charging.

As it came back together with 11km to go, Robert Gesink (Lotto Jumbo) tried his luck with an attack a long way from home.

The chase group behind maintained pressure, courtesy of Movistar and Team Sky, and riders shredded quickly off the back.

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Adam Yates held onto the front group until an attack by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) saw him lose touch along with the likes of Contador. Froome attacked shortly after to go solo for the stage win and to further extend his overall lead.