No big moves on 1st mountain stage as Yates finishes with the main group at the Tour de France

Tue 17 Jul 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT leader Adam Yates has finished in the main general classification group on stage ten, after the breakaway contested for the victory on the first mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France

Other than a short attack from Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), the overall contenders didn’t flex too much muscle on the 158.5km stage but Yates moved up to seventh overall after several riders lost touch over the final climb.

Two in the break:
Earlier in the day, South African champion Daryl Impey and New Zealand’s Jack Bauer ensured Mitchelton-SCOTT was on the front foot by moving with a big 21-rider breakaway in the opening 20km. 

Bauer returned to main bunch whilst the break split on the first cat-1 climb of the day. Impey was in the second group on the road but his day wasn’t done and as they rode through the valley towards the final two climbs, he regained contact with the front of proceedings. 

The penultimate climb once again caused damage to the front of the race and Impey began to make his way back to feed teammates in the main group. 

No clear idea of form:
Today’s first mountain test feature five climbs before a 15km descent to the finish line. 

Whether it was the repercussions of the tough cobbled stage on Sunday, uncertainty following the rest day or awareness of two hard stages to come, the general classification battle never really fired up.

Team Sky spent the day on the front of the bunch and although riders lost touch off the back they never sought to catch the breakaway or put the group in real damage.

Martin attacked late on the final climb before Team Sky pushed the pace on the final descent but a group of 15 overall contenders finished together, three-minutes 23seconds behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep Floors).

Adam Yates:
“We didn’t learn a lot (about our rivals) if I’m honest. It was a hard day after the rest day and sometimes it can catch people out but I actually felt pretty good. 

“I saw just towards the end that people started suffering so I moved up before the top (of the final climb) and Dan Martin attacked pretty much straight away. I was in good position and then obviously Sky started drilling it.

“Sky were just controlling, they were never trying to bring the break back or go for any stage win, they were just riding to stay out of trouble and when Dan attacked they had to chase because he is a danger man.

“I had two guys (Damien Howson and Mikel Nieve) there right until the very end and also Impey came back from the break to give me bottles on the way past so we worked well as a team, like we have from the very beginning."

Daryl Impey:
“It was the plan to be in the break if the group was big enough and had some of the general classification teams represented. 

“It was a really strong breakaway full of very good climbers so I didn’t fancy my chances out of that group.

“In the end, it was more about Yates having some security up the road but in the end it wasn’t needed as our climbing group was exceptional and he still had Mikel and Damo if anything went wrong. 

“It was a tough stage and we’re glad to get through it really well.” 

Tour de France – Stage 10 Results:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep Floors) 4:25:27
2. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) +1:34
3. Rein Taarmae (Direct Energie) +1:40
13. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +3:23 

Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 10:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) 40:34:28
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +2:22
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +3:10
7. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) + 3:21

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.