Yates waits to choose 2017 targets

Yates waits to choose 2017 targets
By Sportsbeat

18/10/2016 at 19:30

Despite a Tour de France route being announced with just 36km of time trialling, climbing specialist Adam Yates has said he may not target the race next year.

Yates proved himself with a fourth place finish in this year's edition, slipping out of the podium places in the final few days and losing ground in the time trials.

But with the 2017 edition featuring climbs in all five of the country's mountain ranges, the Vosges, Jura, Massif Central, Alps and Pyrenees, the route looks more suited to Yates' riding style than his previous two efforts in the world's biggest race.

However, this year's best young rider has said he will wait until the routes of all three Grand Tours have been announced, before he decides which race to focus on.

"I've only just seen the route so it's hard to comment. From this small snapshot, it looks like it could be a bit better next year, compared to this year with less time trialling and a couple of tough climbs. Now I'll go home and I'll have a good look at the stages," said the 24-year-old.

"We'll go away after all the presentations of the Grand Tours and if there's one that's best suited to me then I'll go there.

"The Tour is a special race and I'd love to come back but it's not essential next year, because I'm still young.

"We've many years to race the Tour. If it's comes out that there's no time trialling in the Giro then we'll go there. It's hard to say right now."

Yates' performance at Le Tour was one of many highlights for the Orica Bike-Exchange team in 2016, including podium spots for Esteban Chaves at both the Giro D'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, as well as two monument wins and a debut Grand Tour stage win for Yates' twin brother Simon, at La Vuelta.

The Yates twins both signed new contracts with the Australian team in August, and Adam said there was never any doubt he would not re-sign.

"Give me a reason to change," Yates offered up when asked if there had been interest from elsewhere for his signature.

"They've given me an opportunity and the team have supported me from the beginning. From the start there was a plan to progress and ride GC at Grand Tour.

"I don't see any reason to change and hopefully the future is bright."

Sportsbeat 2016