Interview - Adam Yates looking forward to the longer climbs in the Vuelta a España
Aug 29 2017 09:04 pm CET

Interview - Adam Yates looking forward to the longer climbs in the Vuelta a España
Interview - Adam Yates looking forward to the longer climbs in the Vuelta a España
Photo of Adam Yates © Mary Cárdenas /

Orica-Scott's Adam Yates occupies ninth place in the Vuelta a España after the first nine stages, and is looking forward to the longer climbs of the second and third week.

The 25-year-old has delivered a solid performance so far, in what is his second grand tour of the season after the Giro d'Italia in May. had the opportunity to talk to the Briton at a hotel near Alicante city on the first rest day.

How has the Vuelta been for you so far?

It's been good. It's been a week of long hot stages. The finishes are always those little steep climbs, kind of annoying (laughs). But we're in a good position. We have Esteban in second in the GC and myself still in the top ten. Now we have the longer climbs coming and hopefully this suits us a little bit more and maybe we can try something.

You reckon the longer climbs are better suited for you?

At the moment yeah. These steep climbs are not too easy. Even in the road book it says like four, five percent and then you get there and it's nine, ten you know.

Do you think the race has too many of these steep climbs?

Not too many. The problem is that of how many stages did we have? Nine? Eight had steep climb finishes. If they spaced it out a little bit more during the race maybe it would be a bit better but we're in a good position. All good so far.

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Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Vuelta a España 2017

Yesterday things got shifted a little bit more on the Cumbre del Sol. Does that change the interaction within the team?

Not really. I think we are racing every stage how we want and so far we haven't lost any unnecessary time. I myself am losing a couple of seconds here and there every day, on every climb. But I'm hoping on the longer climbs I will feel a little bit better and we'll see what happens. So far Sky and Froome are looking super strong and we still have the TT to come but we're in a good position.

This is your second grand tour this year, which is something you haven't done before right?

Yeah this is the first time. The problem is that you never know how to prepare. I've done the Tour two times now and you get an idea of what works and what doesn't work. This being my first time doing the Giro and the Vuelta, you never know how it's gonna go. You obviously know how hard to train and what to do in training but you never know exactly. You can't predict form. You can always try your best to reach the best condition and the right moment but you can never fully predict what's gonna happen. So far so good. At the end of the day I'm still in the top 10 of the GC so it's not too bad.

You did the Vuelta in 2014. Given that you were a neo-pro then and now you have a bit more experience, do you approach it with a different mindset now?

Yeah my first year. When I went to the Vuelta in 2014 it was kind of a late call-up anyway. I had been going well pretty much all year and I just crashed in San Sebastian but I almost made the front group. Obviously the condition was good and I'd been racing well all year, gaining some nice results. So there was never really a plan of preparation for that race whereas this year there was a lot more focus and designated training areas and weeks. So it's a little bit different.

Having done the Tour in the last two years and now you have these other two grand tours instead. That must be completely different for you.

For sure, a big gap in the middle of the season. I think I had nine weeks between the two grand tours and I only really raced Poland and a small one-day race in Spain. A big difference and in the end it was six and a half weeks, I think, after the Giro before I raced again. It's new and you can't predict how you're gonna go, form-wise. You can always predict how the training goes, trying to get the best shape possible. You never know until you actually go out there and do it.

Having had this experience now with Giro and Vuelta, and if it was entirely up to you, how would you want to approach the next season?

If I did the same program I would probably want to race a little bit more. I think this is a lot of the reason why I am losing a bit of time on the steep climbs because I haven't got the punch. You can train as hard as you want but actual racing and the micro-accelerations out of corners, crashes, sprinting and all this, you can't replicate that in training. But in general it was a good training period. I spent a lot of time at altitude and a lot of time in the heat before the Vuelta so yeah, maybe just a couple more races here and there but in general it was a good build-up.

Your brother and you, having more or less the same physical traits, does that make a difference? Having someone to measure yourself with?

Not really. If we did the same program and the training we would probably be in the same condition. But we did completely different programs this year so it's a bit different.

When you race with your brother, does it make a difference, for example in the sense of mental support?

Not really. When we were growing up we raced separately quite a lot. We raced together sometimes and when we were under 23's I was with a French team and he was on the British Academy and I never saw him, never raced with him. It's not like I need the support.

So when you're together it's not like a home feeling?

No. At the end of the day, when we're racing it's a job and we're just trying to get the best result possible.

You get a lot of fans calling you by the wrong name?

Yeah all the time. The best thing to do is just to say Yates instead of trying to guess. You've got a 50/50 chance so the odds are pretty good but a lot of the time people get it wrong (laughs). It's one of them things.

About the rest of the season, what is your plan for after the Vuelta?

After finishing this I go to Milano-Torino and then after that Lombardia, and that's it. So I've got about three weeks after the Vuelta finishes before I race again and that's it then. Just two one-day races and then finished.

How do you see the team for the coming season with the new signings?

We made some good signings. We just announced Jack Bauer, a big strong guy. And I obviously don't know my program for next year yet but we just wait and see what races we do and make a plan from there. We made a couple of good GC signings and really good climbers, so every year we're getting more and more support for these big races and hopefully that will make a difference.




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