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Orica-GreenEdge rookie begins career in Argentina
Yates, best known for his second place overall finish in the 2013 Tour de l'Avenir, rolled in with the peloton yesterday 4:35 down on winner Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) and the 21-year-old Briton took it all in stride.
"It was pretty strange, really," Yates told Cyclingnews of the opening stage, where the early break went the distance. "It was a bit of a strange race because everyone was freewheeling for 100km and no one wanted to commit.
"I think that now somebody's in the leader's jersey it will be a bit more controlled and hopefully it will be a bit of bike racing."
The first year in the pro ranks is generally an opportunity to acclimate to a major step up in both competition and distance, and Yates is at the Tour de San Luis to kick off the learning process. Yates' twin brother Simon, too, will make his pro and WorldTour debut for Orica-GreenEdge, but Simon is not in Argentina and has yet to turn a pedal in anger thus far in 2014.
"We're here to support [sprinter] Aidis [Kruopis]. Today on the climbing stage we've got some good guys there who could do well so I'm just here to support them."
Like many members of the WorldTour teams this is Yates' first trip to Argentina, with its summer heat a shock to the system.
"Bloody hot, bloody hot," was Yates' blunt assessment of the weather. "We've been here a week just to get used to the weather. It's a good thing we did, really, otherwise I wouldn't be able to cope."
The young neo-pro's schedule is still a work in progress, but Yates outlined the upcoming events in the near future following the Tour de San Luis.
"I've got the Challenge Mallorca and then a few one-day races in Italy, but it's going to change I think. Nothing's set in place and we'll see after Challenge Mallorca where I'm going."
Looking into the future, Yates has ambitions for tough, one-day races where his climbing acumen can be put to good use.
"If everything goes to plan I want to go for the big, hilly one-days like Lombardia or Liège-Bastogne-Liège . But we'll see how it goes, I don't want to say anything too soon."
Yates contested the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2013, finishing 12th on the day.
Day two in Orica-GreenEdge kit for Yates sees the first mountain finish of his nascent pro career, with a 5km ascent to the top of Mirador del Potrero.
"Obviously if I'm feeling well I'll have a go, but the main objective here is to help the other guys," said Yates.