Yates brothers show strength on Alpe d’Huez

Sat 25 Jul 2015

British twins Simon and Adam Yates have showed their strength and promise for the future on the famous Alpe d’Huez climb on the penultimate stage of the 2015 Tour de France.

After much of the peloton lost contact on the first hors category climb, the pair stayed with the yellow jersey group well into the final climb.

Relentless attacking by Nairo Quintana (Movistar) saw the 22-year-olds lose touch, Adam fighting bravely to regain contact. Eventually another attack by the Colombian snapped the elastic with 9.5km to go, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) also dropping off.

Meanwhile, Simon rode at his own tempo to show maturity and strength; popping up at the finish line just short of a top ten result, in 11th. Adam fought on after a brave attempt for 22nd.

“I had done a recon of this climb, my brother wasn’t able to, and I think it showed at the end,” Simon said. “He really tried to dig deep and hold onto the favourites. With the wind, it was a big headwind today, once he was dropped he was on his own and that takes its toll.”

“Because I’d done the recon, I knew the climb a bit more, I knew to save it until near the end and I made a really big push with just over three kilometres to go.”

Sport director Matt White was proud of the performance of both riders, part of a promising future for ORICA-GreenEDGE.

“That is a very credible result for kids that are 22 years old,” White said. “It’s a great sign for us as an organisation.”

“In 12months times who knows what level they are going to be at. We could be coming back to attempt general classification or we might be coming back to win mountain stages. That’s the big unknown but it’s very exciting for us and I think they will take a lot out of this year’s Tour.”

How it unfolded

It was a smaller group of four riders who took on the final mountain stage of the 2015 Tour de France in the breakaway.

The rest, including ORICA-GreenEDGE, banked on headwind and motivated general classification contenders to bring it back together.

“With the weather conditions it was going to be really hard for an early break to stay away today,” White said. “That proved correct.”

Attacks over the first climb saw further moves launched in pursuit of Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) who remained as the sole leader out in front.

Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) attacked from the group of chasers to join Geniez with eight kilometres to go.

After a number of unsuccessful attempts to drop Pinot, Hesjedal was eventually dropped by the Frenchman.

Pinot held on to win the stage in front of adoring French fans, whilst Froome battled to save his time losses to an aggressive Quintana to ensure he will still walk away from the Tour with the yellow jersey.