Yates climbs into white jersey and fourth overall at Dauphine

Fri 12 Jun 2015

British climber Simon Yates has fought his way into the best young rider’s white jersey and fourth overall after a second consecutive impressive ride for fifth on stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The 22-year-old attacked a select chase group inside the final ten kilometres to finish one-minute 24seconds behind Rui Costa (Lampre – Merida) who won the stage ahead of three former breakaway companions.

Yates’ performance moved him into fourth overall, 35seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) who took over the race lead with a second place today.

“What Simon did in the end there was great,” an impressed sport director Laurenzo Lagape said. “At one point earlier on the road he was going with Nibali and I called him back because it was too far.”

“We also have to think about the next days and tomorrow is a really hard one so I think the best decision was to stay around the big boys in the group and not to spend all his energy in a long breakaway.

“All the energy you could save today is energy you can use tomorrow. And because the big favourites were attacking each other they got tired in the end and Simon was able to wait and wait and then attack them. It was a great move.”

It was not only the performance of Yates that impressed Lapage, but that of the entire team.

“It would say it was a great ride by the whole team,” he continued. “Adam Yates didn’t miss a break in the beginning and at one moment we had him and Simon in there but they didn’t let the breakaway go.”

“There was no moment in the race when there was time for rest but as we got to the first category climb, we still had four guys there with Christian Meier, Simon Gerrans and the two brothers so as a team it was perfect.”

It was action stations from the flag on a day that featured six categorised climbs.

Over 45km were covered in the first hour of racing with countless breakaway attempts ranging from solo moves to a large group of around 20.

Eventually an elite group of five established, including general classification favourites Nibali, Costa and Alejandro Valverde (Team Movistar).

The break never established much over three minutes advantage, but the pace was on and they never looked threatened for the stage win.

Behind, Yates attacked an unorganised chase inside the last ten kilometres, putting time into the likes of Christopher Froome (Team Sky) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing), and minimising his time losses to those who battled for the stage win ahead.

Reaction: Simon Yates (via Criterium du Dauphine):

"It's been an incredible day. We rode flat out the whole stage. We always had to stay tuned, at a high, almost constantly under the rain. When I realized that we were only fifty riders left, I thought I could try and gain some time. I didn't know what was going on because I was far from being fresh in the finale. No one could be fresh! I've already had difficult days on the bike with rain and cold but at this speed with so many moves, I don't know. Now I have the white jersey but it's impossible to say if I'll be able to keep it. With the two stages to come this week-end, anything can happen."