Plumelec - Diminutive climber Adam Yates is glad to see the back of the flat
stages at the Tour de France and eager to start tackling the Pyrenees.
The Orica-GreenEdge youngster struggled throughout the first week of the
Tour with several mostly flat stages that nonetheless threw up various
obstacles such as wind, rain, cobbles and even a heatwave to start the Tour.
But Yates says he will be much more in his element once the race reaches the
"I'm just glad to get it over and done with, I don't like the flat
stages anyway. Bring on the mountains really.
"It's not really been a hard week, probably the easiest week I've done
ever. It's just stressful, you can't even get to the front because there's so
many people trying to get there and it isn't easy. The mountains is what I'm
"You can't even move up most of the time (on flat stages), you get to
about 50th wheel and that's about as far as you can get until you get to an
open, nine-lane highway."
Yates and twin brother Simon, both 22, are expected to shine in the
mountains and will be eyeing breakaway opportunities in the hope of winning a
Both have shown promise these last couple of seasons with Simon finishing
fifth at both the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour of the Basque Country and
sixth at the Tour de Romandie; last year Adam won the Tour of Turkey and also
came sixth at the Dauphine.
Adam also took an impressive seventh place on Saturday's stage eight, one
spot ahead of race leader Chris Froome.
Otherwise, Australian team Orica had a disastrous first week, seeing three
riders crash out of the Tour.
It meant they arrived at Sunday's team time-trial with just six riders and
were up against some teams with a full complement of nine.
Adam said they didn't even try to ride hard as they finished last, almost
5min behind winners BMC and twice as far back as the worst of the rest.
"We just rode a nice tempo, limited the turns so nobody's doing the
bulk of the work.
"We're six guys, we were never going to fight for the win so we took it
easy and basically it was a rest day before the rest day."
Monday is a rest day on the Tour before Tuesday's first mountain stage in
the Pyrenees from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint Martin.
The 15km final 'hors category' climb is more to Adam Yates's liking than
Saturday's 2km finish in Mur de Bretagne where he took seventh, and that result
has him feeling confident about what's to come.
"These little, short climbs aren't my favourites, so I should be good
(on Tuesday), I reckon."