Adam Yates withstands late charge to land first big victory

Sport360 staff 08:49 02/08/2015
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Pedal power: Adam Yates.

Adam Yates became the first British winner of the San Sebastian Classic yesterday with the Orica rider also claiming his maiden title at the major level.

The 22-year-old went into the race on the back of a 50th place finish in the Tour de France. 

Philippe Gilbert, the 2011 winner from Belgium, was second just ahead of Spain’s defending champion Alejandro Valverde.

Yates won by 15 seconds after reeling in a late escape launched by young French rider Warren Barguil on the race’s final climb, the col de Bordako Tontorra, seven kilometres from the finish. 

It was a memorable day for the winner as twin brother and teammate Simon Yates came home in a respectable 14th spot inside the trailing group, all timed at 15sec behind.

Valverde, who was also the 2008 champion, increased his lead in the overall World Tour 2015 rankings ahead of Tour de France champion Chris Froome and fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador.

Meanwhile, Australian rider Richie Porte, fresh from helping Team Sky’s Chris Froome win a second Tour de France, announced yesterday he will ride for the BMC Racing team next season.

Porte, a key domestique in Sky’s three Tour successes with Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and then Froome in 2013 and this year, is moving to pursue his dream of a Grand Tour success in his own right.

“I want to win again races like Paris-Nice and the Tour of Catalonia,” said the 30-year-old who was in the final year of his contract with Sky. “Next year, why not have a Tejay van Garderen and myself at the Tour de France, we get on well.”

In nine Grand Tours since 2010 the Tasmanian has a best placed seventh in the Tour d’Italia in his debut season in the elite division.

After four years at Sky, Porte was one of the biggest names in this year’s transfer market.

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