Giro d'Italia: Yates puts white jersey loss to one side with top-ten result

Orica-Scott rider takes confidence from debut Italian Grand Tour

Adam Yates started the 2017 Giro d'Italia with the ambition of finishing top-ten in the general classification and winning the best young rider classification. Starting stage 21 in the white jersey, Yates held a 28-second advantage over Bob Jungels knowing he'd need a top class time trial to hold off the Luxembourger.

At the conclusion of the 29.3km stage, Jungels was the quickest of the two and claimed the classification by 1:06 minutes. While Yates missed the jersey, he won the white jersey at the 2016 Tour de France, the 24-year-old achieved his aim of a top-ten result on his Giro debut.

"In general it's been a good experience for the whole three weeks. We had a bit of bad luck in the beginning and if it wasn't for that maybe things would have been different but we gave 100% every day and that's all you can do," said Yates. "We came out with a top ten in the general classification, which was one of two objectives for me, so I'm not completely disappointed about losing white."

While Yates finished in fourth place at last year's Tour, the Giro was the first Grand Tour he started with the outright ambition of racing for GC. Sitting in third place on the morning of the mountain stage to Blockhaus, Yates was involved in the 'moto accident' and as a result he slipped to 16th overall.  He steadily improved his GC position and sat eighth on the morning of the final stage with ninth his final result. Considering the Blockhaus incident and that it was his first attempt at riding GC for the full three weeks, Yates explained he can only take confidence from the result.

"It was the first time we have started a Grand Tour with the aim of riding for the general classification, we really only switched to that half way through the Tour de France last year," said Yates.

"Having guys work day-in and day-out for me is not something I am used to, I haven't had it all my career, but they have done a great job these few weeks and I am sure as a team we will continue to do a good job in the future."

While dedicated to Yates' GC campaign, Orica-Scott also has the ambition of winning a sprint stage with Caleb Ewan and achieved the feat on stage seven. For sport director Matt White, the Giro was successful considering its dual ambitions with two young riders.

"We have finished with a top-ten overall, a stage win and a hell of a lot of experience. Firstly with Caleb, who won his first stage at the Giro d'Italia and came close another couple of times and also with Adam," said White. "The Giro is a different beast altogether and we can't dwell on what could have been, it's racing and to have these three weeks under his belt will be a big benefit for Adam at the Vuelta later in the year and the future in general."

With 2017 marking the first year since the team's 2012 debut it is targeting the general classification at all three Grand Tours, rather than focusing on stage wins and team time trial, White added the team can be proud of its efforts.

"The team also functioned very well for the three weeks, especially given we had two objectives. From a team that only a couple of years ago was a bunch of opportunists looking for wins whenever we could get them, we come here as one of the big teams now," said White. "Not many teams can target a serious general classification and have one of the world’s best sprinters so I think we can be proud of that."

At the Tour de France, Orica-Scott is backing Esteban Chaves for the general classification as he makes his debut at the French Grand Tour. Second, at last year's Giro and third at the Vuelta a Espana, Chaves has been hampered by a knee injury so far in 2017. In part due to Chaves' injury, Simon Yates' race programme was adjusted with the Tour swapped for the Giro. For the Vuelta a Espana, Adam and Simon Yates will lead the GC charge for Orica-Scott. 

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