Yates third after fireworks on queen stage in Alberta

Sat 5 Sep 2015

2015 San Sebastian champion Adam Yates has finished third for the second consecutive stage at the Tour of Alberta in Canada.

The queen stage four concluded with a 12km ascent to the finish line and it didn’t disappoint, igniting fireworks at the head of the field for an exciting finale.

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Yates joined the flurry of attacks with two kilometres to go and launched a secondary move inside the final kilometre to enter the final 500m with a slight advantage.

Yesterday’s stage winner Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) managed to repeat his efforts to steal the victory whilst Bauke Mollema (Treak Factory Racing) finished second, just ahead of Yates.

“Adam attacked in a spot where it got steep just outside a kilometre to go and went around a bend into a slight headwind,” sport director Dave McPartland explained.

“Mollema was marking him heavily, as you would expect, and Slagter was getting a free ride behind him so the cards were against Adam a little but he gave it a full crack and committed 100%.

“In hindsight maybe it was a little early but it was a really good effort to try to win the stage, it just wasn’t to be today.”

With two stages remaining, Yates remains six seconds behind Mollema on general classification.

“It definitely a tough ask but I’m not ruling it out,” McPartland said of the chances to steal the overall title in the final two days of racing. “It’s always possible, you never know what can happen.”

How it happened:

Whilst yesterday was officially the first summit finish of the Tour of Alberta race, today’s queen stage took it a step further with a 12km climb to Marmot Basin Ski Area.

Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Logan Owen (Axeon Cycling Team) and Thomas Vaubourzeix (Lupus Racing Team) formed a small breakaway but the trio were well controlled by race leaders Trek Factory Racing.

What was a five and a half minute gap after just 30km of racing, only reduced from that point onwards. By the final climb their advantage was minimal and the stage was set for desired general classification showdown.

The climb didn’t disappoint, with attacks and counter attacks providing plenty of fireworks. With two kilometres to go, Yates made his initial attack before making a second attempt within the final kilometre to enter the final 500m with a slight advantage.

The 23-year-old fought on bravely but the victory was stolen by Slagter with Mollema four seconds behind.