Tour de France VIDEO: Bury’s Yates brothers survive week one crosswinds, cobbles and crashes

Bury twins Simon and Adam Yates have survived the first week of the Tour de France battling crosswinds, cobbles and crashes in one of the trickiest opening weeks in recent memory.

Simon showed some promising form as he mixed it with the general classification contenders on the third stage up the short steep iconic climb of the Mur du Huy.

He eventually finished 11 seconds behind Spanish climber Joaquim Rodriquez who won the stage, but came in as part of a group which also contained defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and ahead of Giro d’Italia winner Alberto Contador.

This strong form showed that when it does come to the mountains of the Pyrenees in the second week, Simon has the form to mount a challenge on the Tour’s toughest days.

The 13km of cobbles on stage four would always be difficult for two young climbing specialists and like much of the first week was all about survival, as the expected the boys finished a long way down on the leaders.

However the race so far can only be called a success for the twins, such a tough week is all about staying in the race and with both at around 12 minutes off the race lead a respectable finish in the general classification is still very much possibility.

The tour for the Yates boys team Orica-Greenedge has been less than serene. Team leader Simon Gerrans headed home after being after caught up in a large crash on stage three along with former yellow jersey wearer and valuable team member Daryl Impey.

The large crash also caused a rib injury to the team’s sprinter Michael Matthews, although he continues to battle on. Experienced rider Michael Albasini has also left the race after fracturing his arm in a crash on stage five.

With just six riders left in the race it would be almost impossible for the team to challenge in one of their specialities, the team time-trial.

The departures of key riders and injuries to Michael Matthews mean that the options for Orica-Greenedge to salvage any success from this tour may rest upon the Yates’s young shoulders.

Simon in particular comes into the race full of confidence after an impressive display in the Criterium du Dauphine.

Orica-Greenedge Sport Director Matt White told Velonews: “The kid has some form, it’s very exciting for us.

“It’s a great sign for three-week tours, a great sign for any bike rider.”

Mostly flat stages remain until the team time-trial on Sunday and then the first of the race’s two rest days comes on Monday.

We have the first mountain stage on Tuesday as the riders go from Tarbes to the finish at La Pierre St Martin for stage 10. With its mountain top finish this could be the first stage where we see Simon or Adam attempt a stage win in the Tour de France.

Stages 11 and 12 will also offer Simon and Adam a chance for glory after persevering through the battles of the first week.

Main image courtesy of Orica Greenedge via YouTube, with thanks.

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