The 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner Simon Yates is ‘highly’ likely to race both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2021, according to Team BikeExchange sporting director Matt White.
Yates endured a tough end to 2020 as he had to withdraw from the Giro after testing positive for Covid-19 but he is now the leader of the newly re-named Australian team after twin Adam left for Ineos Grenadiers.
Speaking to Cyclingnews, White said: "We're just waiting on the final course for the Giro but we have a fair idea of what we're doing,
"We know what he's [Yates] doing for the next month. He'll do Valencia and Tirreno and once we see the course for the Giro we'll make a decision.
It's highly likely that he'll do both the Giro and Tour, but in what role, we'll make that call later.
White admitted that he wasn’t clear what role Yates would perform at each of the two Grand Tours as Yates has been open about wanting to compete at the Olympics.
Last year Yates told Eurosport’s Tom Bennett that the Olympics were “one of my main goals, not just for next year but for my whole career.”
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White said “A big goal for Simon is the Olympic Games, and I don't think that we'll see anyone doing GC in both the Giro and Tour, and then going to the Olympics to ride for a high place.
”We've already seen that [Mikel] Landa has put his hand up for both and [Vincenzo] Nibali has too. [Bauke] Mollema has too, and there will be more of those guys this year.
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“I think all of those guys, including Simon, once they see the course details for the Giro, they'll target one of the two. Some might target the Giro and then just see what happens at the Tour.
“If they're in a good place they might roll with it at the Tour,"
OUR VIEW – COMPETITION IS RIFE
Yates, the first British winner of the Tirreno-Adriatico, told Bennett last year that he had initially planned to ride the Giro before the Olympics in order to get a big block of racing before the games.
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However the Covid-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s plans and everything remains up in the air.
And to further complicate matters Great Britain have lost one of their spots for the men’s road team at the Olympics, meaning they can only take four rather than five riders.
Competition for places is going to be fierce when you consider the options on offer to the team.
As well as both the Yates brothers, the likes of Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart, James Knox, Hugh Carthy, Luke Rowe and Alex Dowsett will all be options.
There’s plenty of Grand Tour experience there, both in terms of winning and leading as well as some rising stars within cycling.
Riding both the Giro and the Tour might not just be ideal for preparation, it might be necessary to prove form.