Debutant Yates impresses again in stage 14 break

Sat 19 Jul 2014

British neo-pro Simon Yates has again shown his potential in the mountains, spending his second stage of the 2014 Tour de France in the day’s break.

The strong 17-man breakaway formed 16km into the 177km stage 14 that some were describing as the queen stage of the Tour with a HC and two category one climbs. 

Yates, the youngest cyclist in the peloton, was amongst the final riders to be caught with just 5.5km remaining.  Sole survivor Rafal Majka took out the victory.

“It was hard day out, there was a lot of climbing but you have to try,” Yates said.

“The opportunity was there and if I had good legs then I might have been up for the win but all credit to Rafal Majka, he is a class act and I think he showed he was the strongest today.”

Impressing on the bike, Yates’ open desire to not just be in the break but to win stages is also winning over the cycling world.

“I’m quite an ambitious guy and I like to win so I will just keep plugging away and hopefully we will get a win in the next week or so,” Yates said

“And next year I can actually look forward to doing a grand tour and not feel so nervous. To have that experience of doing a longer race, not the week-long races that we normally do. 

“It’s a great experience all round, really.” 

Ahead of the stage, the team had one card to play and sport director Julian Dean said Yates’ performance was extremely exciting for the future. 

“It’s always hard to get in the breakaway on any stage of the Tour de France and he has done that twice in the two weeks he has been here,” Dean said. 

“Following in the car, you don’t have to do anything. He is cool, he is calm, he’s collected and he really did it all himself.  

“It tells you that he is a complete rider. Physically he is gifted and mentally, as well, he has got it together.

“We have seen many guys that have got good mental capacity but not the physical and also the reverse of that so he is starting to look like he has the complete package.”

The day’s break had a biggest lead of five minutes over the first classified climb before NetApp joined Astana on the front of the peloton and began closing the gap.

With 20km to ride, just ten riders remained in the escape group and their lead had be closed to just 90 seconds.  As the advantage dipped under a minute with 10km to go the attacks began in the front group splitting it to pieces on the final climb, Yates surviving until 5.5km to the finish.

Tomorrow’s stage 15 provides some relief from the mountains. The 222km flat stage looks likely to suit a bunch sprint before Monday’s second rest day.