Simon Yates 10th from breakaway on stage 14 of Tour de FranceSat 18 Jul 2015
Simon Yates, the best young rider at the 2015 Criterium du Dauphine, has held on for a top ten finish from a successful breakaway on stage 14 of the Tour de France.
Yates represented ORICA-GreenEDGE in a 20-man move that was allowed the freedom to contest for stage honours by the peloton behind.
The 22-year-old followed an attack by Roman Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) on the final climb but just ran out of legs to follow him to its peak within two kilometres of the finish line. Steve Cummings (MTN Quebeka) stole the victory from behind.
“At the end of the day I just didn’t have the legs,” Yates said. “I’m disappointed but at the same time I couldn’t give it anymore.”
“I went into the red trying to follow Bardet and that was it really, I was going backwards from there onwards.
“There are a few more stages to come so we’ll keep trying.”
Sport director Matt White backed the British climber on a day made for a breakaway and reiterated there are more opportunities to come for the Australian outfit.
“Like predicted it was a pretty hectic start,” White said. “There were a few teams that weren’t happy with the combination of the first break and that really forced it to split up.”
“We also had Pieter Weening with Simon in the initial break but in the shake up on the narrow roads of a descent he dropped back to the peloton.
“Tactically Simon rode perfectly. He let others chase when it was the time to do so and he gave it his all before he came a little unstuck over the final climb.
“His chances are certainly not over, that’s for sure.”
How it unfolded
On a week that has already seen some successful breakaways, today had ‘winning escape’ written all over it.
22 teams with the same idea made for a nervous bunch and saw a crash in the first five kilometres that split proceedings. The peloton managed to reform as the attacks began.
A group of 24 riders got off the front but were unsettled for a period of time. Eventually, after multiple changes, 20 riders found themselves in the move of the day as the peloton accepted the combination and sat up.
Together, the breakaway rode out to an eight-minute lead and with 50km to go they still maintained six and a half minutes.
Over the first of three climbs in the last 40km, the group held it’s form and advantage. Shortly after, Michal Golas (Etixx-Quickstep) made a solo move as a decoy for breakaway companion and teammate Rigoberto Uran.
With three riders in the break, FDJ were charged with the chase on the penultimate climb and on the lead-in to the final ascent. The 20man break briefly came together on the lower slopes of the final climb but immediately numbers dropped from behind.
Roman Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) put in a strong attack as ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Simon Yates sat on his wheel. A second attack by the Frenchman was enough to shed Yates who began to drop back.
Over the top Bardet was joined by Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) but games between the pair saw them both caught out as Cummings flew straight past to steal the victory.