Discovery Channel directeur sportif Sean Yates may be nominally retired, but the one-time wearer of the Tour de France yellow jersey has always kept himself in shape. He's in good enough condition to have decided to ride the Archer GP on April 9, one of the UK's most prestigious one-day races.
He's unlikely to be going for the win, though, as that would put him in the awkward position of presenting the trophy to himself. Organiser Stuart Cook says, "I was delighted that Sean accepted the presentation invitation and surprised and even more delighted when he said he wished to compete in the event."
Yates was a member of the co-promoting Archer club when he was a junior, but his rapid elevation to the professional ranks in Europe meant he never actually rode the Archer GP. Now, he's correcting that omission, though his comeback is unlikely to follow the path of Malcolm Elliott's 2003 Archer GP ride, in which he finished fourth and went on to win the overall UK Premier series.
Cook says there will be strong competition for inclusion in the 100 man field for the Archer GP. Selected riders will face a 118 mile course in the Chiltern Hills that incorporates probably more climbing than any of the whole Premier Series.
The race starts in Rose Avenue, Hazlemere., before heading through Hazlemere and descending Cryer's Hill. The route then ascends Hughenden Valley as it starts its first circuit. A climb of Longdown Hill is closely followed by the major climb of Whiteleaf Hill. The race then goes through Naphill before starting another circuit.
After five circuits the race then heads over to the finish circuit but not before a climb of the infamous Cryer's Hill! The route retraces itself back through Hazlemere before completing a circuit based around Penn Street and Winchmore Hill.