Tour of Britain: Simon Yates targets professional contract after stage six triumph
Last Updated: 20/09/13 4:21pm
Simon Yates has enjoyed an outstanding season
Simon Yates is targeting earning a professional contract for the 2014 season after enhancing his already glowing reputation by winning stage six of the Tour of Britain.
The 21-year-old Englishman out-climbed the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Nairo Quintana on the ascent to the summit finish on Haytor in Dartmoor and then surged past Spain's David Lopez to seal an impressive victory.
It was the latest triumph of an outstanding year in which he has already been crowned world points race champion on the track and won two stages of the Tour de l'Avenir, which is one of amateur cycling's most respected races.
Yates, who is now third overall at the Tour of Britain, hopes his latest win has further proved his credentials for a step up to professional racing with a UCI WorldTour team.
He said: "I am ecstatic. It is one of my best victories. To win a stage of your national tour and with the company that was there, you can't get much better.
"I have got the worlds [road world championships in Italy next week] after this, so hopefully I can do a good ride there, but hopefully I can turn pro after a few good performances here."
Despite his youth and comparative inexperience, Yates weathered a series of attacks from the likes of Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Quintana (Movistar) on the climb to Haytor and managed to form part of a select group of nine leading riders going into the final 2km.
Lopez (Team Sky) looked to have made the stage-winning attack 400m out, but Yates countered and swiftly rounded the Spaniard to claim a two-second win.
He explained: "I was just hoping for good position as we hit the climb, and then people started to hit away - Dan Martin, Quintana.
"I knew I had a fast kick but I still didn't believe until I looked behind a few metres for the line.
"I hadn't really planned it, but I heard from my team-mates and other people that it is not one gradient all the way up - it is very up and down. I had good legs most of the day."