Vuelta a Espana: Adam Yates targeting stage win on debut Grand Tour appearance
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 23/08/14 2:10pm
Adam Yates has enjoyed an outstanding debut season as a professional
English rider Adam Yates is targeting a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana and has identified stage six’s summit finish as his best chance.
The 22-year-old from Bury is set to make his Grand Tour debut at the three-week race, which starts in Jerez de la Frontera on Saturday and ends in Santiago de Compostela on September 14.
Despite still being in his first season as a professional and a strong field at the Vuelta, the Orica-GreenEdge rider is confident he has the ability and form to challenge for a victory if he can make his way into a breakaway.
Stage six ends with a 4.6km ascent to La Zubia, averaging 7.8 per cent in gradient and carrying a maximum ramp of 12.8 per cent, and climbing specialist Yates believes it could suit his style perfectly.
’See what I can do’
“I will look to get a stage win if I can,” he told Sky Sports. “There are a few stages that I could potentially do well on, like stage six, which is just under 5km long and suits me down to the ground. Obviously, there are some big guys here, so I know very well that it won’t be easy, but I will see what I can do.
“A breakaway could well be my best chance. If a break of 12 or 15 guys goes away and the GC guys are happy to let them fight it out for the win, hopefully I can be in a move like that and be one of the best climbers.
“Either that or a late move. You can try anything in these races and something might happen. You can get away and sometimes it might work out.”
Yates has enjoyed an outstanding debut season in the professional ranks, winning a mountain stage on the way to overall victory at the Tour of Turkey, finishing fifth at the Tour of California and then riding to an impressive sixth overall at the Criterium du Dauphine.
"I have had a good season so far and hopefully I can build on that."
He has been delighted with his progression and is determined to maintain his high level of performance at the Vuelta.
“I have had a good season so far and hopefully I can build on that,” he added. “I got the ball rolling in Turkey and carried that on in California, but then the Dauphine was another level on top of that.
“That was the first time I was up there mixing it with the top guys. Although I wasn’t actually winning, I was getting better every day. This is a three-week race and it’s important I keep my form and my consistency going.”
Although Orica-GreenEdge plan to pull Yates out of the race early to avoid exhausting him, he is refusing to rule out the possibility of making it all the way to Santiago de Compostela.
“The initial plan is to just do the first couple of weeks,” he said. “It’s not definite, because if I am recovering well and I’m feeling fresh, we can maybe keep going and take it one day at a time.”