"Last year he finished fourth, so that says a lot" - Team Jayco AlUla remain faithful in Simon Yates for Tour de France despite transfer rumours

According to reports, Simon Yates' days at Team Jayco AlUla are numbered, with the Aussie-based outfit already having targeted Ben O'Connor as a replacement. Nevertheless, ahead of the 2024 Tour de France, Yates retains full backing the team insists.

"Normally we go all out for the rankings with Simon. Last year he finished fourth, so that says a lot. I'm pretty sure that this time too he is working towards riding a classification," explains Team Jayco AlUla's sports director, Tristan Hoffman in conversation with In de Leiderstrui. "On the other hand, a stage victory in the Tour can be just as important as, for example, finishing fifth in the battle for yellow. Let's just present both options to him."

The reason for this slight change in expectation from the Team Jayco AlUla sports director? The immense level of competition set to compete for the general classification at the upcoming Grand Tour. "No nonsense: reaching the podium will be very difficult," Hoffman assesses honestly. "Although the past has already shown that he can function as a classification man but also as a stage hijacker. So he actually has several options."

As mentioned, according to reports by GCN, Yates will leave Team Jayco AlUla at the end of the season, having spent the entirety of his professional career with the Australian team under their various guises. Highlight of that time was undoubtedly the overall victory at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. With six Giro d'Italia stage wins, two Tour de France stage wins and a number of other general classification success at varying stage races, Yates has undoubtedly had a successful career to date.

Where the future of that career lies, remains shrouded in mystery however. The 31-year-old has been linked with various teams such as Team Visma | Lease a Bike, Israel-Premier Tech and even the Tudor Pro Cycling Team, although the likes of INEOS Grenadiers and the team of his brother Adam Yates, UAE Team Emirates have both denied any interest.

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