Q&A With Adam Yates on Tour de San Luis Stage Four

Thu 23 Jan 2014

The Alto El Amago summit finish served to shake up the general classification at Tour de San Luis. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) launched a devastating attack on one of the many steep switchbacks that characterizes the lower slopes of the final ascent. Neo-pro Adam Yates rode his own pace up the mountain and crossed the finish line in tenth place, just over three minutes behind the Colombian climbing sensation.

With a four second advantage over Quintana after stage four, Phil Gaimon (Garmin Sharp) managed to narrowly hold onto his overall lead. Yates jumped up to 12th overall at 3’37, strengthening his hold on the best young riders jersey and assuming the team’s top ranked position on the general classification. Christian Meier tumbled from third to 16th place where he now sits 4’15 behind the race leader. The individual time trial on Friday will likely further sort out the overall contenders.

Following a hot day of racing and a visit to the podium, Yates began the long transfer back to the team hotel. Upon arrival, he fielded questions about his day. Read his responses below.

Q: What were you doing in the bunch today up until the climbing began?

Eh - basically nothing. Santa [Ivan Santaromita], Christian and I were the three highest up on GC. They looked after us on the stage. It was pretty flat for most of the days It wasn’t really windy but every now again, it picked up – some crosswind – so they looked after us the most at those times to make sure we were comfortable.

Q: It didn’t seem like the action really heated up until the race hit the cat three climb that came before the summit finish. Is that accurate?

Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s funny. It was essentially just one big climb. Straight after the cat three, there was the littlest descent and then it went straight up again. The break was only allowed four or five minutes, not much more. Just before the bottom of the climb, they were brought back. It was really hot again today. That might have had a little impact on the early action.

Q: What was your strategy for the summit finish?

I didn’t have a strategy. We’re not really targeting the overall. We’re just taking our chances as they come. We just wanted to hold on, really. There are some pretty good climbers here and some local guys going quite well. Typically on a climb like this, it’s every man for himself. We can help each other now and again, but it’s hard to do that much on this type of climb. You have to go at it at your own pace.

Q: How did today compare to some of the bigger climbing stages you’ve done in Europe?

It’s pretty similar. The biggest difference is that there are a lot of guys here that aren’t going full gas yet. They’re still holding back or not in top form. Other than that, there’s not really much of a difference.

Q: How did you rate your ride today?

I didn’t feel great at the bottom of the climb. It felt like it rose quite sharply. After that I was going ok. Nobody could match Quintana. It was a big gap. I can’t complain. It’s January. And we didn’t come in with big ambitions. I'm happy enough with my ride. 

Q: While you continue to maintain that you’re not targeting the overall, you’re in a promising position at the moment. Will you go all out during the time trial tomorrow?

Well, we don’t have time trial bikes, so I’m already down a little bit.  We brought one, but it’s Santa’s. His bike won’t fit me, so I’m on my road bike tomorrow. I can give it a crack, but I’m already at a bit of a disadvantage.