Simon Yates says he is hoping to pick up a stage victory at next year’s Tour de France following an encouraging but ultimately winless first season as a professional. The British rider is also hoping for greater consistency in 2015 after this year’s efforts were hampered by breaking his collarbone at the Tour of Turkey in April.
There was a silver lining to that particular cloud, however, in that the unscheduled rest helped provide him with an unexpected opportunity to ride the Tour. Writing on the Sky Sports website, he says of the race:
“Riding it this year was such a big experience, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish the race after falling ill, so it would be good to go back, do the full three weeks and get to ride into Paris.
“The 2015 route is also quite hilly and should suit me, and there are potentially plenty of opportunities to go for stage wins. I actually wasn’t a million miles away when I got into a couple of breakaways at this year’s Tour, so I know that there will be chances for a rider like myself.”
Yates won stage six of last year’s Tour of Britain while riding for the Great Britain team, but describes this as being his first winless season ‘since I was about 12’. He feels that if it hadn’t have been for his collarbone injury, he might have built more momentum and points to his twin brother Adam’s performance in support of this theory.
“Look at Adam this year. After he won the Tour of Turkey, he kept that form going and was flying at the Tour of California and then the Criterium du Dauphine. Putting a run like that together is something I’m really keen to do.”
Adam, who is also an Orica-GreenEDGE team-mate, managed three wins in 2014 and unsurprisingly, he is quick to remind his brother of this fact. As you might imagine, this is proving a motivation in itself: “I would like to shut Adam up because he keeps giving me a ribbing.”
As well as targeting stage wins in the Tour, Yates is also keen to compete for the general classification in shorter stage races. He picks out the Tour of the Basque Country as being one in particular after he finished 12th in this year’s edition.
However, for all the on-bike experience he has gained this year, he says the biggest thing he has learnt has been when to climb off.
“The big thing I learnt this season was realising when to rest. A lot of first-year pros go into it thinking they need to step it up, train really hard and make a big impression, but they end up riding themselves into the ground. I have learnt that it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing too much. You need to get your rest in, otherwise you’re going to be cooked before May.”
Hopefully in 2015, that rest won’t demand the breaking of any bones.