Adam Yates' Tour de France performance last year was one of the best of his career so far. Working in the aid of Tadej Pogacar, the UAE Team Emirates man took home the first Grand Tour podium of his career.
“I am going there to be the last man for Tadej in the mountains, and it worked well last year. For me in the Tour I’ll have a similar job," Yates recently explained in conversation with Velo about his plans for this year, as UAE Team Emirates takes an all-star lineup to France in their attempts to reclaim the Maillot Jaune. “It’s similar to last year for me, so the preparation doesn’t really change. I know my calendar, I know when I need to go to altitude. If I can be at my best moment when I need to be, it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.”
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With Pogacar targeting an ambitious Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double this year, it's unlikely the Slovenian will also be present at the Vuelta a Espana. Is Yates the man to lead the team in Spain? "Maybe later in the year if I come out of the Tour quite fresh I can do the Vuelta myself," he says. “We’ll see, it’s a long way from February. Let’s get the first part of the season first, hopefully I can get a win and see how it pans out.”
“If he wants to do it, he can do it. He’s the best rider in the world for a reason. He wants to do it, and the team is backing it, so go for it," the Brit adds of Pogacar's double goal. “If he cannot do it, I am not sure who else can. Why not try?”
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Since his move to UAE Team Emirates, Yates has seemingly gone to the next level, something he has himself noticed. “I found a level of consistency I’ve not had in previous years. That’s what I want this year. I don’t want to have any bad days or moments. I want to be consistent all year, and hopefully the results will come,” Yates assesses.
“When you’re on a team of champions, it’s not just Tadej, it’s the whole team,” he concludes. “Everyone’s trying to be better and trying to improve, it just brings your level up as well. When you’re in that environment, it’s hard not to be at your best. That’s what I found last year. Hopefully I can take it one notch higher and win some more races.”