Mitchelton-SCOTT to change focus after dropping out of GC contention of stage 14 of the TdF

Sat 20 Jul 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT will change its focus to chasing more stage wins after leader Adam Yates conceded time on today's stage 14 finish up Tourmalet at the Tour de France.

The Brit began to struggle on the second climb of the day, before being paced back into contention by teammates Simon Yates and Jack Haig, but was later distanced on the lower slopes of the Tourmalet, crossing the line in 25th, 6’42” down on stage winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ).

Big Day Ahead:
It was a subdued start to the race with riders seemingly reluctant to attack the peloton on such as short stage that finished with the famous Tourmalet. Eventually the attacks began to roll out of the bunch but with little intent until former race winner Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) made a move.

The Italian drew several riders out of the peloton and a 17-man breakaway formed over the top of the first categorised climb of the day. But the escapees were kept on a tight leash with the general classification teams keeping the pace high back in the peloton.

As the race hit the first major test of the day, the category-one Col du Soulor, the tempo continued to be ramped up as the peloton thinned out significantly on the slopes. Just 30-riders remained in the yellow jersey as the summit approached and Adam Yates found the pace too much as he was distanced.

Tough Tourmalet
Brother Simon Yates bridged back up to Adam, whilst Australian Haig dropped back in an attempt to pace Adam Yates back on. The trio raced down the descent and made it back to the group of favourites through the valley roads on route to the Tourmalet.

However, Adam Yates came into difficulty once more as the race hit the lower slopes of the final climb. Clinging on at the back of the GC group for as long as he could, the 26-year-old finally lost contact with 15-kilometres remaining.

The Brit had Haig and brother Simon for company as they set about limiting their loses up the punishing ascent to the finish, while the yellow jersey group began to attack each other. Adam Yates eventually crossed the line 6’42” down on stage winner Pinot and falls to 18th in the overall standings.

Adam Yates:
"Not the best day that’s for sure. Everyone comes out of a time trial differently and usually I come out pretty good but today was a different story. No excuses really, I just didn’t have the legs on the day and that’s how it goes sometimes. 

"More than anything I’m just sorry to the guys who have kept me out the wind and looked after me for the past 2 weeks, they’ve sacrificed their own chances to help me out and in the end it didn’t come off. Having said all that, tomorrow is another day and we will continuing fighting like it’s day one!"

Matt White - Head Sport Director:
"Obviously it was a disappointing day for us. There will be a time to sit down and analyse the reasons why, but what we do know now is that our general classification goals have come to an end.

"The strength of this organisation is its ability to deal with setbacks and move on quickly. We will need to change our approach, so now we are chasing stage win number three."

Tour de France 2019 Stage 13 Results:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) 3:10:20
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) +0:06
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) ST
25. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOT) +6:42

General Classification After Stage 13:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) 56:11:29
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +2:02
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2:14
18. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +10:37

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.