Orica-GreenEdge rider Simon Yates says his third year as a pro cyclist will be focused on weeklong stage races and the Tour de France, and he’s drawn great inspiration from the exploits of teammate Esteban Chaves' success at the Vuelta a Espana.
Writing in a column published Wednesday on SkySports.com, the 23-year-old from Great Britain said he's back at his training base in Spain following a five-week break, and his 2016 season has effectively started. Yates admits he hasn't ridden his bike since the Tour of Lombardy, and he writes that he hasn't missed it.
"I've had the old excitement back in the past few days, but in general, being a professional cyclist is such an intense lifestyle that it's just been really nice to have a break."
Yates also revealed that he and Adam, his twin brother and Orica teammate, have taken up running as a way to stay fit while staying off the bike. Wednesday marked his first training ride, however.
Yates scored some impressive results in 2015, including second-place stage finishes in both Tour de Romandie, where he finished sixth overall, and Criterium du Dauphine, where he was fifth overall. He was also fifth overall in Tour of the Basque Country.
Yates writes that his 2016 schedule will look a lot like his 2015 campaign, with his first outing at Paris Nice and then a slow build to the Tour de France.
"Next year is my third as a professional, and while I've done well so far, I'm keen to step up to the next level in 2016 and start winning week-long stage races, such as Paris-Nice or the Tour of the Basque Country, or at least get on to the podium."
Yates also writes that his onw ambitions got a big charge from watching the success achieved by Chaves, the 25-year-old Colombian who won two Vuleta stages, finished fifth overall there and then went on to win the Abu Dhabi Tour.
"Esteban is a couple of years further along in his career than Adam and I, but he is a similar rider to us, and seeing him win two stages, lead the race and finish fifth overall has definitely shown me what can be achieved."
Yates says he will be in Spain for several more weeks before heading off to team training camps in South Africa and Calpe.