Following the Yates brothers across the Grand Tours
Despite plying their trade overseas in mainland Europe, the Yates brothers have never been far away from home support this season. Paul and Adele Van Der Kamp have made the most of their semi-retirement and followed their fellow Bury Clarion cyclists on the biggest stages of them all.
“We followed the Giro, the Dauphiné, the Tour de France and then went down to the Vuelta,” says Paul. “It was always a wish of mine to follow the races from start to finish in their entirety. We thought now is the time to do it, it was just an added bonus that Simon was in the Giro, Adam was in the Dauphiné and Tour de France and then Simon won the Vuelta, which was the icing on the cake.”
Having cycled with the Yates’s father up to four times a week in recent years, Paul has a link to the brothers and even joked to their father that he was seeing his sons more than he was this past year. “Because of the connection with John they give us a little bit more time than they would do if we were total strangers. So they’ll have a chat with us and I’ll show them a picture of what their dad has been up to when we had last been cycling.”
While careful not to be intrusive, Adele hopes that brothers enjoy having a little slice of Bury out on the European roads. Creating friendships with a number of Spaniards while following the Vuelta led to Yates gaining second-favourite-rider status — after Alejandro Valverde — among some locals. The Van der Kamps often receive phone messages from acquaintances they met on their jaunt, explaining how the paintings of ‘Yates You Can’ still remain on the secluded Spanish roads.
“We like to let them know we are there, but we don’t want to keep reminding them and get on their nerves.” Taking in the action of the pros racing over the famous climbs was just the tip of the iceberg for Paul who was able to ride them himself. Even after claiming that it was a once in a lifetime experience he soon admits that they are already planning on repeating their trips for next year, meaning that Simon and Adam can be assured that a slice of Lancashire love won’t be far away.
The Van der Kamps with a message of support