Program change to see Simon Yates line up at the Tour de France
A program change will see Vuelta a Espana and Paris-Nice stage winner Simon Yates line up at Liege-Bastogne-Liege this Sunday and the Tour de France in July.
The switch will give ORICA-SCOTT a two-pronged general classification attack at the world’s biggest cycling race and will leave brother Adam Yates to lead the Australian team’s overall hopes at the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia next month.
The decision comes as teammate Esteban Chaves continues to gain fitness following a setback due to a knee injury earlier in the year.
“We are confident that Esteban has made a full recovery from his knee injury and is now back into his Tour de France preparation,” sport director Matt White said. “What we don’t know at the moment is how that time off and lack of racing will affect his performance over the three weeks.”
“The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year and we have been able to come up with a plan that will benefit our young GC riders, and the team ambitions for the season.
“Simon will be given the opportunity to line up in his third Tour de France and the pressure on Esteban will be eased a bit as he prepares for his debut. Adam will continue in his preparations for the Giro in a few weeks’ time.”
It also opens up the opportunity for the Yates brothers to both target white jerseys in their respective races.
“The new program will give Simon and Adam both opportunities to look at whitey jerseys this year - Adam at the Giro and Simon at the Tour de France. That is something we will certainly be aiming for as we ride for the best general classification results possible for our young climbers.”
All three riders could still line up in the Vuelta a Espana later in the year, but any decision confirming this will be made following the first two Grand Tours.