Orica’s long term plan for Yates twins

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Bri­tish twins Adam and Simon Yates will be given time to de­velop into Grand Tour cham­pi­ons, their Orica team sports di­rec­tor Matt White said. Adam Yates won the young rid­ers’ white jersey at the Tour de France last year and Simon is cur­rently in pole po­si­tion in that cat­e­gory this time around.

But at 24 years of age, Orica and White are wary of putting too much pres­sure on the tal­ented broth­ers from Bury, Eng­land. “We knew they were tal­ented but we had lots of tal­ented kids come through here, but the rate that they de­vel­oped was in­cred­i­ble re­ally,” White told AFP.

“One rea­son they’re here and they stay here is we’ve given them great op­por­tu­ni­ties from the start. “We took Simon to the Tour de France as a neo-pro and had to send him home af­ter two weeks be­cause it wasn’t the best thing for him. “It wasn’t that pop­u­lar a de­ci­sion at the time but for the long term I didn’t want to kill him in his first Tour. “Now it’s his third Tour and he’s got those other two years un­der his belt, and that’s why he’s han­dling the pres­sure of be­ing in the white jersey very well and rid­ing top 10 of the Tour de France as well, be­cause it’s not easy.” Yates is sev­enth over­all and three min­utes clear of South Africa’s Louis Mein­t­jes atop the young rider com­pe­ti­tion.

He was sixth at last year’s Vuelta a Es­pana, his best Grand Tour show­ing so far, while Adam was fourth at last year’s Tour and ninth at May’s Giro d’Italia. “They’re still kids, they’re 24-years-old, they’re a long way from be­ing at the best of their abil­i­ties,” added White.

“We’ve had them since they turned pro­fes­sional and they’ve de­vel­oped re­ally well, and we’re go­ing to con­tinue that de­vel­op­ment.”

The Tour may be the big­gest gold­fish bowl in cy­cling but White in­sists the Yates broth­ers should not be judged only by their re­sults in France. “We’d like to but at the mo­ment we’re not ready to win the Tour de France with the ros­ter we’ve got, but I think long-term we’d love to win the Tour de France.

“But we’d also like to win the Tour of Italy (Giro) and the Tour of Spain (Vuelta) and maybe they’re races that suit our rid­ers’ char­ac­ter­is­tics bet­ter.” Orica have sent the Yates broth­ers to four Grand Tours each and later this year they will both ride the Vuelta, the first time they’ve taken on two Grand Tours in the same cal­en­dar year.

“The sea­son’s long and we’ve got more ob­jec­tives than one bike race, and we’re de­vel­op­ing them as well,” said White. “Part of their de­vel­op­ment this year is do­ing two Grand Tours: Adam’s do­ing the Giro and the Vuelta, Simon’s do­ing the Tour and the Vuelta as well, so they’ll be in the Vuelta to­gether.” It will be only the sec­ond time they ride to­gether in the same Grand Tour af­ter the Grand Boucle two years ago, where Adam fin­ished 50th and Simon 89th. In the mean­time, Orica are sim­ply con­cen­trat­ing on re­tain­ing the white jersey rather than look­ing to push Simon Yates higher up the over­all stand­ings, even though he’s only two min­utes and two sec­onds off the yel­low jersey. “It’s pretty tight be­tween pretty much the top eight or nine guys. The lev­els are quite sim­i­lar and there’s only three op­por­tu­ni­ties where time can change, or if guys have a bad day,” added White.

“We want to fin­ish as high as pos­si­ble but we’re cer­tainly not here with the goal of fin­ish­ing on the podium. “The goal we came here with was to win the white jersey and fin­ish in­side the top 10, and so far, so good.”— AFP

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