A day after his twin brother Adam became the first British rider to win the best young rider’s white jersey at the Tour de France, Simon Yates has shown his own ability, winning the hilly Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia in the Basque Country. The race is also known as the Ordiziako Klasika in the Basque language.
Yates won alone after attacking from a group of nine riders that went clear in the final 20km. He attacked with 10km and opened a 34 second lead on Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros). Britain’s Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural-Seguros) finished sixth at 43 seconds. It is the first time that a British rider has won the race, with former winners including Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde.
Yates returned to racing at the recent Tour de Pologne after completing a four-month ban for what the UCI deemed a “non-intentional” violation. The positive anti-doping test was sparked by the Orica-BikeExchange team doctor failed to submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for a product that relieves Yates’ asthma symptoms.
The case and eventual ban disrupted Yates’ spring and summer but he trained with his brother at altitude in June and seems on track for a strong second half of the season.
Simon and Adam are set to race again on Saturday at the Clasica San Sebastian WorldTour race in the Basque Country. Adam won the race in 2015 and Simon finished 14th. Simon is expected to be part of the Orica-BikeExchange team that rides the Vuelta a Espana in support of Esteban Chaves.