Twin peaks: Bury brothers on wheel spinning journey to Tour de France glory

Bury twin brothers Simon and Adam Yates will roll off the start ramp in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to compete in the biggest cycling race on the planet, the Tour de France this morning.

The brothers, who race for world tour team Orica-Greenedge, won’t be household names to the casual observer but at just 22, and with prodigious talent, both boys look destined to make their mark on the sport for years to come.

The boys began their cycling journey with local team Bury Clarion and quickly rose through the ranks of junior British cycling.

In 2013 both brothers burst onto the scene, Simon grabbed a stage win on his way to third in the Tour of Britain whilst riding for the Great Britain team and Adam rode to second in the prestigious junior race the Tour de l’Avenir.

Simon took on the tour in 2014 but left the race early, as scheduled by his team, despite featuring in breakaways and looking capable of making it all the way to the finale on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

He further showed his future stage racing credentials this season by finishing fifth and claiming the best young riders jersey at the prestigious pre-tour tune up race the Criterium du Dauphine.

Adam did not race last year’s tour as it weaved its way through the millions that lined the Yorkshire route.

His early season race calendar was much busier than Simon’s, who was forced to miss days on the road due to injury, but an impressive overall victory in the Tour of Turkey convinced his team that with some rest he would be capable of completing the three weeks of the Vuelta a Espana.

Despite the impressive start to their fledgling careers Orica-Greenedge Sporting Director Matt White is keen not to over extend his young talent.

White said: “I think it would be pretty irresponsible for us to put pressure on 22-year-olds, as second year pros, to ride general classification at the Tour de France.

“What they have proven this year is that they have the ability to be very competitive on a lot of varied terrains and against the best riders in the world.

“We are aiming to win a stage with them. If they can hunt out the right move, then on any given day they certainly have the ability to win.”

The Yates boys come into their own when on stages where the race soars into mountains. The higher and steeper the better for two young men who are small in stature but strong when it comes to the tours hardest days.

This year’s tour route has been designed to favour the mountain specialists. Seven of the tours 21 stages are classified as mountain days and it is here that the Yates boys will chase their wins.

All 7 come in the second and third week of the race with first being on Thursday July 14 and the final mountain stage coming on the penultimate day of the race on Friday July 24.

Possible targets for a Yates stage win:





Tuesday July 14th

Tarbes / La Pierre-Saint-Martin


Wednesday July 15th

Pau / Cauterets – Vallée de Saint-Savin


Thursday July 16th

Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille


Wednesday July 22nd

Digne-les-Bains / Pra Loup


Thursday July 23rd

Gap / Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne


Friday July 24th

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / La Toussuire – Les Sybelles


Saturday July 25th

Modane Valfréjus / Alpe d’Huez

A victory on any stage is by no means a given for either brother and at such a young age success would still be simply to finish the three week race.

The boys remain in the early stages of careers that are brimming with promise and no doubt their greatest achievements are still to come.

Image courtesy of Simon Yates via FlickR, with thanks.

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