"We’ve got a lot of young guys. I think that I’m the oldest by about 10 years" - Adam Yates enjoying mentor role at Tour de Suisse for UAE Team Emirates

With a key few weeks coming up for UAE Team Emirates as Tadej Pogacar looks to reclaim the Maillot Jaune and complete a Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double, Adam Yates is among the riders preparing at the 2024 Tour de Suisse.

According to Pogacar himself, Yates will be the Slovenian's "Right hand man" at the upcoming Grand Tour, having done so much at the 2023 edition of the Tour de France, finishing on the podium alongside his team leader, despite Jonas Vingegaard taking the victory. “Adam Yates is my right-hand man, while Juan Ayuso and Joao Almeida will be like luxury domestiques in the mountains,” Pogacar told the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast. “Marc Soler and Pavel Sivakov are the big men for the mountains, but can also do a lot on the flat. And then you have Tim Wellens and Nils Politt, the strong men. It actually scares me too!”

Usually, Yates would be using the Criterium du Dauphine as his warmup for the Tour de France. This year though, it's the Tour de Suisse. “I’ve been to the Dauphiné a couple of times and done really well but when you look at the parcours of Suisse this year it suits me quite well," the Brit explains to GCN. "There are a couple of steep climbs in the final and that’s something that I’m quite good at these days. When I spoke to the team at the start of the year we left it quite open until the course came out and when Suisse was announced it was felt that it was the better race for me. So here I am.”

Although UAE Team Emirates send a strong team to Switzerland, it's a lineup full of youthful exuberance. "We’ve got a lot of young guys. I think that I’m the oldest by about 10 years, and I’m the one with the most experience but we’ve got a lot of strong guys," says Yates, enjoying his role as a mentor. "Joao Almeida is here and he was up at altitude with me and we’ve got Marc Hirschi who is always good for a stage win. Jan Christen has shown great form recently, Isaac Del Toro, Finn Fisher-Black, pretty much everyone is super, super strong and we have options. Hopefully, we can do something there.”

With two stages down, Almeida is the best placed of the UAE Team Emirates men, sitting in third place, with Fisher-Black sitting fourth. All the big challengers are still to come though, meaning there is still plenty to play for over the rest of the week. Yates insists though, the most important thing is getting form into the legs ahead of the Tour de France.

“Every race we go to these days we’re looked at and everyone expects us to work. We’ll try and build into the race and then see what happens in the mountains," he concludes. "Training is always different to racing, and I say this often because you can feel super in training and then it’s different when you start racing but the camp went super well. The weather was really good and that helps. Last year I was second in the Dauphiné with a similar build-up and preparation. Hopefully, I’ll be in a similar place. There’s no real pressure coming into this race from the team. We’ll do our best and try and perform at 100 per cent.”

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