Yates strengthens hold on White Jersey, remains in 3rd overall after stage 18 of TDF

Thu 21 Jul 2016

Adam Yates produced another strong performance for ORICA-BikeExchange on stage 18 of the Tour de France today, finishing 16th in the individual time trial to retain third on general classification and the lead of the best young rider category.

With three more days to go and two difficult mountain stages ahead, 23-year-old Yates stayed focused on the challenging 17kilometre time trial course to maintain his excellent position.

Race leader Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) won the stage and extended his lead in the overall, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) posted a slower time than Yates but holds on to second place by 24seconds.  

“I was feeling pretty strong at the first time check,” said Yates. “But when I hit the main road I struggled a little for power and maybe I went a little bit too hard in the beginning.”

“In the end we didn’t lose too much time and as it stands we are still on the podium with two more hard days in the mountains to come and we will be fighting for every second.”

Sport director Matt White is pleased with how Yates is handling the new experience and agreed with the British rider's honest self-assessment of today’s time trial.

“Yes, I think Adam (Yates) probably got a little excited on the first part of the course today,” said White. “But that’s normal for a 23-year-old who has never been in this position before. The main thing is we didn’t lose much time and Adam has good legs for the tough stages coming up.”

“We haven’t been putting pressure on Adam and he has responded very well, we are in a good position at the business end of the race and obviously we are happy about that.

“The whole team have ridden very well so far and remain focused on these next two hard days in the mountains.

“Tomorrow is going to be an epic stage, it’s a very difficult parcours and could be made even more so if the predicted thunderstorms arrive in the afternoon.

How it happened:

The challenging 17kilometre time trial course ran mainly uphill and it was Jon Izagirre (Movistar) who was the early occupant of the hot seat with a time of 31minutes 46seconds.

Chris Juul-Jensen was the first ORICA-BikeExchange rider down the ramp and posted a time of 34minutes and four seconds, which was matched exactly by teammate Michael Albasini.

2016 Paris Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman crossed the line in 35minutes 41seconds after a big effort from the veteran classics rider.

Former Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge wasn’t far behind Albasini and Juul Jensen with 34minutes 22seconds.

Stage ten winner Michael Matthews was next up for ORICA-BikeExchange and ran seven seconds slower than Durbridge with a respectable effort for the uphill course.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) nudged Izagirre out of the hot seat by going one second faster than the Movistar rider and settled into the provisional top spot.

De Gendt wasn’t given the chance to get comfortable as Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) crossed the line in 31minutes and four seconds and moved straight into provisional first place.

South African time trial champion Daryl Impey finished with the fastest ORICA-BikeExchange time so far at 33minutes 12seconds whilst Ruben Plaza arrived in 34minutes 12seconds.

The start time for white jersey Adam Yates was 16:53pm CEST and the 23-year-old Briton set off with purpose.

Third at the first time split Yates continued to push on with Mollema and Froome now both on the road behind him.

Yates crossed the line with an excellent time of 32minutes and six seconds taking 16th place on the day behind eventual stage winner and race leader Froome.

Tomorrow's stage 19 covers 146kilometres from Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. A tough mountain stage with four categorised climbs including the Hors category Montee de Bisanne before the summit finish in the ski resort Saint-Gervais-les-Bains on the lower slopes surrounding Mont Blanc.

Tour de France stage 18 ITT results:

1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 00:30:43
2. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 00:00:21
3. Fabio Aru (Astana) 00:00:33
16. Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:01:23 

General classification after stage 18:

1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 77:55:53
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 00:03:52
3. Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:04:16