When Great Britain announced their World Championship team on Friday, some were surprised that the Yates twins, Adam and Simon, were not featured on that roster. According to Simon Yates, however, he and his brother had never intended to be on the team competing in the elite men’s road race on September 27 in Richmond, Virginia.
“No, I was not surprised that we weren’t on the team,” Simon Yates told Cyclingnews at the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal in Canada on Sunday. “There are better riders who can support the team in Richmond.”
The Yates brothers have both had their share of success this year. Simon took two top-10 finishes in stages at the Tour de France and was second in a stage at the Criterium du Dauphine. Adam recently won the Clasica San Sebastian and was second overall at the Tour of Alberta.
The elite men’s road race parcour, however, is being tipped as a good one for the classic-style specialists and sprinters. It will be 259.2km held on 16 laps of a 10km urban circuit. Each lap of the race will include a cobbled climb up Libby Hill Park, a 19 per cent climb up 23rd Street and the final climb up Governor’s Street, all in the last three kilometres.
“I don’t think that it’s a course for myself or Adam to do well in, maybe on the day and in certain conditions, but I haven’t seen the course, only heard what people have said. We had a quick discussion and there are better riders to help the leaders.”
Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish are set to lead Great Britain in their quest for a medal at the World Championships with support riders that include Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Stephen Cummings, Andy Fenn, Luke Rowe, Scott Thwaites and Alex Dowsett.
Cavendish has won 14 races this year, including a stage at the Tour de France, while Thomas won the overall title at the Volta ao Algarve, second overall at the Tour de Suisse and he won E3 Harelbeke. Thomas was also one of the main support riders for Chris Froome during his overall victory at the Tour de France in July.
“I think it is a team that can win a medal,” Yates said. “I think you could put any team together with those guys and have success. They are all hard-working guys so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to win a medal.
“I think it’s a very open course so I think if they have a perfect ride they can win a medal… or even better.”