Simon Yates “can’t wait” to get started with Orica-GreenEdge
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Simon Yates “can’t wait” to get started with Orica-GreenEdge

by Ben Atkins at 3:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
21-year-old British neo-pro setting no targets as he steps up to the WorldTour

simon yatesSimon Yates “can’t wait” to get started in his first season with Orica-GreenEdge, having signed his first professional contract. The 21-year-old, whose twin brother Adam has also signed for the Australian ProTeam, is tipped to be the next star British rider, having won the World Points Race title on the track this season as well as taking a stage in the Tour of Britain and finishing third overall.

"I can't wait," Yates told Sky Sports. "In the next couple of weeks we fly over to Australia for a team gathering and sort out the plans for next year. It is a really exciting time.

"I haven't really got any concrete ambitions or expectations that I am placing on myself. I think 2014 will just be a case of trying to find my place in the WorldTour peloton and try and work out what path I want to take and the rider I want to be.

"It is a big step up to a whole new level. Hopefully I can help the team achieve its goals and do my bit for the more established riders. They are seasoned professionals and I am looking forward to working with them and learning from them."

Having taken a stage of the 2011 Tour de l’Avenir, Yates had a relatively quiet season on the road in 2012. This year saw him take several big results, however, including tenth places in the Flèche du Sud, the Thüringen-Rundfahrt and the Czech Cycling Tour, and ninth in the An Post Ras, before taking two Avenir stages this time.

It was his Points Race title, then his Tour of Britain performance, that brought him to the attention of the World, however, which went a long way to earning him his contract with Orica-GreenEdge.

"As seasons go, 2013 worked out perfectly," he acknowledged. "Once I had the confidence from winning the world title on the track, everything just snowballed for me and the results just kept coming. It far exceeded my expectations.

"There were so many highlights. To win [the Points Race] in Minsk means I am forever going to be a world champion and nobody can ever take that away from me.

"But equally, to win a stage of the Tour of Britain and finish overall is up there as well. To stand on the final podium with Brad [Wiggins] - a British cycling hero and one of the guys who has been there and done everything - that was a huge honour."

Simon and Adam Yates will become the latest pair of twins to ride together in a top team, following in the wheeltracks of Peter and Martin Velits [although the Slovakian brothers will go their separate ways in 2013 - ed], and this was a big reason behind their choice of team.

"One or two other teams showed interest but, with the option of me and my brother both signing together, it made the decision a lot easier,” Simon explained. “There were a few other factors, but that was the main one.

"I have only just started racing with Adam again after being apart for three years, so it is not a problem being separated, but I think we work better when we are together and it makes life a lot easier."

Despite being a World champion on the track, it is the road where Yates sees his future, especially since his event will not be part of the Olympic programme in Rio 2016.

"I would never say never," he said. "But I think with the way the events work on the track and with the Olympics looming, there aren't really any openings for myself on the track. I am more of a bunch racer and it is a real hard task to get in the team for the other events.
"It would be a tall order for me to get in the team, so for the next couple of years I will concentrate on the road and take it from there.

"Rio is still quite a long way away. I will wait to get these first couple of years at Orica-GreenEdge out of the way and then start re-setting my targets at that point."


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