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Adam Yates to join brother Simon at Vuelta a Espana as 'super domestique'

Joe Robinson
13 Aug 2018

After disappointing Tour de France campaign, Adam looks to help brother Simon towards Vuelta podium

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) will attempt to recover from a disappointing Tour de France campaign by joining twin brother Simon at the Vuelta a Espana later this month. 

Despite entering the Tour with ambitions of the podium, Adam Yates struggled once the race hit the mountains, routinely losing time in the Alps and Pyrenees, eventually finishing 29th overall over an hour adrift of winner Geraint Thomas.

Yates had been confident that he would challenge for the podium and potentially improve on his fourth-place finish from 2016 but this proved not to be the case. 

This has caused Yates to reassess the latter part of his year subsequently coming to the decision to support his brother Simon at the final Grand Tour of the season. Mitchelton-Scott has stated that Adam will ride the Vuelta in purely a support role, helping his twin brother, rather than riding for his own ambitions. 

Simon will lead the team in regards to General Classification following a breakout Giro d'Italia in May. The Bury-born rider came to within three stage of winning the Italian Grand Tour, emphatically conceding the race lead on Stage 19 to Bardonecchia to eventual winner Chris Froome (Team Sky)

Although Simon eventually finished 75 minutes down on GC to Froome, he was regarded by many as the rider of the race thanks to his aggressive approach to race leadership and three stage victories.

Since an extended break after the Giro, Simon has returned to racing in good form finishing second at the Prueba Villafranca-Orizaiko one-day race and second, with a stage victory, at the Tour of Poland.

The Australian team has outlined its ambitions for Simon to podium at the upcoming Vuelta while also continuing the team's transformation into a Grand Tour powerhouse. In a press release, sports director Julien Dean was measured in his targets for Simon and Adam at the Vuelta.

'Obviously, we'd still like to aim for a podium at the Vuelta. That would be a great outcome for us, but if we look back at the past Grand Tours we’ve done these last two years, we’ve got some work to do and our overall objective is to make a good progression throughout the whole race,' said Dean.

'Our key performance indicator will be that we have come into the key period and Simon is able to maintain or if not gain position in those last ten days, whether that be from 15th to eighth or eighth to fifth. As long as we get that progression, that’s really what we are aiming for.

'I think if we do that, the results will come for themselves, it’s just a matter of being patient and learning from what we have done in the past couple of years.'

While Adam will be riding predominantly as a domestique for his brother, the 26-year-old will also be using the Vuelta to measure his ability to recover from back to back Grand Tours.

'The Vuelta a Espana wasn’t originally on my program but together with the management we came to the decision that doing the Vuelta after the Tour would be another good chance to get some experience in riding multiple Grand Tours in one year,' said Yates.

'It’s pretty difficult to replicate the fatigue of a Grand Tour in training so the opportunity of riding the Vuelta without the stress of riding GC will be a good step towards gaining more experience not just in racing over three weeks but also in following all the routines and day-to-day stuff that goes on in a Grand Tour.'

The Yates twins will have some fierce competition in terms of GC with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) all scheduled to race.

The Vuelta could also see its defending champion Chris Froome return despite the Team Sky man racing the four previous Grand Tours.