In just his second attempt at the world’s biggest race, Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) became the first British rider to win the best young rider award at the Tour de France.
The 23-year old rode an impressive race to finish in fourth place overall, well above expectation giving Orica–BikeExchange its best ever overall result at the Tour.
A series of impressive performances over several tough mountain stages saw Yates move into second overall before slipping to fourth over the last two days of racing only 21seconds behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in third.
Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) won the race by over four minutes with Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) taking second and completing the podium.
“We came here not really riding for the overall,” said a smiling Yates in Paris. “It just kind of happened and the whole team have been incredible in their support, all the riders and the staff who have worked so hard everyday.”
“There has been no pressure, other than I what I put on myself, we approached the race day by day and I’m very happy with how its turned out this is a fantastic honour.
“I had a bad day on stage 19 and I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond but I recovered well and here we are. I’ve won the white jersey and fourth overall and that’s very satisfying.
“I wouldn’t say that we are disappointed not to have made the podium, its one of those things. This is only my second Tour and all of the guys ahead of me have competed for the general classification in previous Grand Tours so I think we have done very well.
“The future is ahead of me and I’m sure I will be back fighting for a podium place or even challenging for the Yellow Jersey. I will try my best, you never what will happen but I’m going to continue working hard and do everything possible to improve.”
Sport director Matt White praised the effort and performance of the whole team over the course of the race, in particular that of the 23-year old Yates.
“This has been a very gratifying Tour de France for us,” said White. “We came here with ambitions to win a stage, that was our main objective so in that respect the first few were days key for us.”
“We targeted stages where we knew we had a good chance of getting a result and we did finally achieve that on stage ten, however once the first few days had passed we could begin to focus on the overall and the performances of Adam (Yates).
“Of course we knew that Adam is an incredible talent and full of potential and now I suppose the whole world also knows that. I think its very important not to put a 23-year old like Adam under too much pressure and as we saw he responded very well and maintained a high level of consistency.
“We have always had faith in Adam’s ability and the way the whole team rallied around him throughout the race has been extremely pleasing and we have achieved a great result. It really is sensational we have ticked every box, stage win, white jersey and fourth overall.”
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