Yates claims first British victory on 2019 Tour de France
Cycling Road

Yates claims first British victory on 2019 Tour de France

18 July 2019 / 15:26
Simon Yates joined a select group of riders as he completed the full set of grand tour victories by claiming stage 12 of the Tour de France in Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

The 2018 Vuelta a España winner was part of a large breakaway in the stage that started in Toulouse, and then was the fastest of the three-man group that made it to the line in the Pyrenees.

The 26-year-old is a former white jersey winner for the best young rider on the Tour, and added this stage win to previous victories on the Vuelta and the Giro.

However Yates insists his focus for the remainder of the Tour remains his brother Adam, who is currently seventh on the general classification.

He said: “It was my first chance to try something. I’ve been back in the peloton trying to help Adam but today I had my own chances and I’ve grabbed it with both hands.

“I’m very proud (of winning stages on all three grand tours), hopefully there’s more to come.

“My main priority here is to help Adam but this was one of the chances to get up the road. We’ll see how we are over the next few days.”

On a day where the general classification was unchanged, with Geraint Thomas still second behind yellow jersey Julien Alaphilippe, a large group broke away early on.

By the time the riders had crossed the second of the category one climbs, Hourquette d’Ancizan, the lead group had been whittled down to two, with Yates joined by Gregor Mühlberger before Pello Bilbao caught them on the descent.

And after a cagey run in to the finish, it was Yates who judged the final sprint perfectly, attacking before the final bend and then holding off his breakaway compatriots to take victory.

He added: “I wasn’t very confident of beating either of them, I wasn’t sure how fast they were. I just knew from the directors in the car that I needed to be in the front coming around the last corner. I made sure to do that and luckily I held on to win.”

Sportsbeat 2019