Yates not looking too far ahead as maiden Tour continues

07 July 2014 / 09:30

Simon Yates insists he's taking his maiden Tour de France outing one day at a time after a second stage comparable to a busman's holiday in the hills around Yorkshire.

The 21-year-old Orica GreenEdge rider finished 4:34.00 minutes behind stage winner Vincenzo Nibali at the end of a punishing 201km ride from York to Sheffield.

The crowds turned out in their hundreds of thousands along the route, which took in no less than nine categorised climbs, many of which Yates knows well from training.

He said: "It was a bit different to my usual training rides round there, a lot tougher, although I've been up there when it's been snowing and hail stones so it's hard every time.

"It's a tough race and I just tried to do my best for the boys. If you look at the profile of the stage it was like shark's teeth, it was so up and down with a bit of wind at the top of the climbs to make it a real tough day of racing.

"I was OK, this is the Tour de France and it is a hard race to do so just towards the end I started to feel it a bit. I'm here to help the other lads, we'll see how we go but I'm taking it day-by-day.

"At the end I was absolutely knackered because it was a hard stage. I think a lot of it is the mental side of things, I have to come out and do all the press which I'm not used to doing."

Prior to the Grand Depart in Leeds on Saturday, Yates' Orica GreenEdge team had targeted the first two days as a potential early springboard for leader Simon Gerrans to snatch the yellow jersey.

But after the Australian collided with Cavendish yards from the finish in Harrogate on day one, his chances of riding into London in the maillot jaune were hindered.

The crash left Cavendish nursing an injury that has ruled him out of the Tour but Gerrans admitted at the end of stage two that he hadn't been able to find top form as a result of the incident.

He said: "When we punching up the steep climbs I just lacked the strength to go with the guys. I just think the effects of the crash – I've probably got bruised ribs and I've got a lot of skin off my back – has really taken it out of me.”

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