2023 Tour de France

Adam Yates Steps Out Of Twin's Shadow In Tour de France Triumph

Adam Yates Steps Out Of Twin's Shadow In Tour de France Triumph

After decades in the shadow of his twin, Adam Yates struck back, taking a stage win and the lead at the 2023 TDF by beating brother Simon to the line.

Jul 1, 2023 by AFP Report
Adam Yates Steps Out Of Twin's Shadow In Tour de France Triumph

After decades in the shadow of his twin, Adam Yates struck back Saturday, taking a stage win and the overall lead in the 2023 Tour de France by beating brother Simon to the line in Bilbao.

Simon won the first race between the two when he was born a few minutes ahead of his sibling in August 1992.

At the finish Saturday, Simon told reporters that the brothers had had countless contests growing up "not just even in racing but in training as well."

The twins come from the same town, Bury in the Manchester region, as football's Neville brothers Gary and Phil of England and Manchester United fame.

In 2013, the Yates brothers came first and second at the Tour de l'Avenir, a sort of junior Tour de France, with Simon winning.

The pair are close. They started their careers together with the Orica team, which has evolved into Jayco. While Simon, who won the Vuelta a Espana in 2018, stayed put, Adam moved to Ineos in 2021, before a further switch to Team UAE, where he is understudy to Tadej Pogacar.

"We get on great and see each other almost every day," Adam said on Saturday. "He lives just five minutes away. I saw him this morning, and he asked me what my plans were, but obviously, I couldn't tell him. I'm sure he'll be a pain in the ass for me somewhere along the road though."

Simon Yates said that was his plan.

"I've a fantastic relationship with my brother, and I'm really happy for him," he said warming down after the finish. "I'll stick it to him in a couple of days."

The win came after confusion followed the race to the top of Stage 1's final hill on the outskirts of Bilbao.

Adam had led his teammate Pogacar up the climb, with the champion Jonas Vingegaard lurking close behind.

But when the Yates brothers broke, nobody seemed interested in intervening in the fraternal struggle.

Pogacar raised his arms as he followed them over the line in third.

"I cannot tell you how much that means to me," said the Slovenian Team UAE leader. "It's wonderful to see this team developing, and a win for the team like that is almost better than a win for myself."

It must have meant quite a lot to their mother, too.

"I haven't spoken to my parents yet," Adam said after the race. "They are here somewhere along the coast in a campervan."

Simon was long considered the more talented of the two and has won two stages on the Tour de France previously, with Saturday's outcome Adam's first Tour de France stage win.

Simon also won the Tour de France white jersey as best young rider in 2017, before winning the Vuelta a Espana the following season.

Bit Of Carnage

Saturday's stage win was a first for Adam on the Tour de France, but he did have the yellow jersey, by default, in 2020, after Julian Alaphilippe was hit with a time penalty.

He then defended the yellow for four more stages.

Yates has promised to defend the jersey again and try and help team leader Pogacar win a third Tour de France.

"Tadej's the best rider in the world, and if I can cause a bit of carnage here that helps him, I will," Yates said. "Tomorrow, there's a time bonus, and we'll target that."

But maybe this is a bluff.

Concern over two-time winner Pogacar's fitness led his UAE Emirates team to name Yates as their co-leader for the Tour de France.

"Sometimes, you get injured or sick and you always need back up," Yates had said in the build up to Saturday's opening stage in the Bilbao back-country.

Pogacar, 24, suffered the injury during the Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 24. He soon was training in a gym but missed over a month on the bike, as he allowed time for his wrist to heal.