Adam Yates (Orica GreenEdge) turned in one of his best performances of the season to finish 8th in the prologue of the Criterium du Dauphine but stressed that there was no pressure on him to aim for the overall in the week-long stage race.
Yates finished 31 seconds down on stage winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) over the 3.9 kilometre uphill test and at the start of stage 1 hinted that he was still finding his form after a break from racing.
"I've been up at altitude training for the last few weeks. I've not done much intensity and I've just been trying to focus on my main aim for the season, which is the Tour de France, and I'm happy with the prologue. Hopefully it's a good sign for the rest of the week," he told Cyclingnews after signing-on for the stage.
"We'll see about GC though. As I said I've not done much intensity so once we get into the mountains and these guys start putting the hammer down we'll see."
Yates, who cannot comment on his brother's on-going case, is enjoying a similar build up to the Tour as he did last year. As well as targeting the Tour he is also in the running for a spot on Great Britain's Olympic team. Riders trying to find form in June and hold it until the Games in August have one of the hardest tasks on their hands with almost two months separating the Dauphine and the men's road race in Rio.
"I've got a similar build up to last year. Last year I won San Sebastian and that was a week after the Tour. Last year the Dauphine I started going okay but wasn't super. We're just building up steadily with the same programme, so hopefully I can go well into the last week of the Tour and then carry that into the Olympics."
"If I have good day here maybe I can get up there and win a stage but if not then there's no pressure from the team. If we can pull something off then that's fantastic but if we can't then no worries as we have bigger goals down the road."
Yates has also been in France to ride reconnaissance ahead of the Tour. He has looked at several stages, including the 17-kilometre individual mountain time trial between Sallanches and Megève.
"I did a few days before the Dauphine. I did stage 19, 20 and the mountain time trial. The mountain TT is a good one for me. I'm not great at time trialing but I can go uphill pretty quickly. Hopefully if I can get there I can pull something out of the bag."
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