Adam Yates will target stage victories in the final week of the Tour de France after seeing his general classification hopes end in the Alps.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider came to the Tour hoping to build on the fourth place he achieved in 2016 and animate the race in a fashion similar to his twin brother Simon’s performance in the Giro d’Italia in May.
But he cracked over the three Alpine stages this week as what was a bad loss of time on Wednesday became a full-blown crisis by the foot of the Alpe d’Huez on Thursday.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” the 25-year-old Lancastrian said. “We came here to ride GC but I’ve been suffering a lot in the heat in the past couple of days and it’s been pretty bad with the dehydration.
“I’d just get to the end and I’m just full of salt and dehydrated. It’s one of those things but that’s bike racing at the highest level.”
Yates lost four minutes 42 seconds on Wednesday’s stage 11 to La Rosiere but blew up completely on stage 12 to Alpe d’Huez, finishing almost 29 minutes after Geraint Thomas took the stage honours in the yellow jersey.
— Mitchelton-SCOTT (@MitcheltonSCOTT) July 20, 2018
Yates has now slipped down to 21st in the overall standings, almost half an hour off the top 10.
“The first mountain stage was good but I didn’t hydrate properly after the stage, and it kind of goes into a snowball effect there,” Yates said on Friday.
“Once you mess it up once and go into another mountain stage you’re dehydrated after and then I lost four minutes or something. I was hoping I could recover yesterday but obviously I didn’t. We’ve just got to change the objectives and go for some stages.”
The terrain evens out considerably over the weekend before the race heads into the Pyrenees next week, and that is where Yates will hope to be in the mix for a stage win.
“Anything that’s hard,” he said when asked if he had specific targets in mind. “If I recover well and feel as good as I did in the first mountain stage then I know I’ve got the legs to challenge. But whether I recover we’ll find out.
“It’ll be different, it’s a big change (of mentality) but I’ve done it before and we’ll just try and get stuck in. It’s all you can do.”
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