Yates finishes 5th overall and as best young rider at Pais Vasco

Sat 11 Apr 2015

2014 Tour of Alberta mountain classification champion Simon Yates has finished fifth overall and as the best young rider at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco after a spirited ride in the closing time trial today.

The performance caps off a successful week of racing in Spain for ORICA-GreenEDGE, who also walk away with a stage win and two days in the yellow leader’s jersey courtesy of Michael Matthews’ victory on stage one.

Yates started the final stage in third overall, seven seconds off the pace of Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha).

Giving himself every chance, Yates was ninth fastest at the intermediate time check making him the virtual leader of the race. At the end of the tough 18.3km course, the 22-year-old finished 12th on the stage, good enough to remain in the top five overall.

Rodriguez posted the second fastest time of the day, behind stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant – Alpecin), to win the Tour.

“He was really impressive,” sport director Neil Stephens said of Yates’ final ride.

“He descended really well over the first part of the course, rode well on the flat and he was riding within himself. The truth is, he started the climb really well on the steep part and then he started to lose it a little bit as it flattened out. The last climb he did really well to try to stay up there.”

The top five result was above expectations and Stephens said despite the initial disappointment, he is confident the young British rider will realise the achievement once it has sunk in.

“Right now, straight after the race, to be running third place and then to drop back to fifth, even though we knew it was a big possibility, is a little disappointing for him,” Stephens said.

“But I’m sure that once he gets home and realises he has finished fifth in the Tour of Basque Country, that it’s a really big thing and he should be proud of it.”

Overall, it was a job well done for the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit, who wrap up the Tour with a bag of achievements.

“We finish with first in a stage, second in a stage, third in a stage, two days in the lead, fifth overall and best young rider,” Stephens said.

“What a fantastic week for the ORICA-GreenEDGE team.”