The Tour de France did not get off to the best of starts for Britain's Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) after he was caught up in crashes on both of the opening two stages, but things now appear to be moving in the right direction for the 25-year-old from Bury.
After those difficult first two days, Yates and his Mitchelton-Scott teammates managed to steady the ship with their fourth-placed ride in the team time trial on stage 3, and Yates has steadily climbed the overall standings as the terrain has got tougher.
He was nicely nestled in the group of general classification contenders as they rolled into Le Grand-Bornand on stage 10 on Tuesday, and is now in seventh place overall, equal on time with Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Mikel Landa (Movistar).
"It was a hard day – a hard day after a rest day, and sometimes that catches people out," said Yates. "I was feeling pretty good, and I saw just before the end that some people were struggling, so I moved up just before the top, and then Dan Martin attacked almost right away. I was in a good position just as Sky started drilling it.
"It wasn't really fast on the climb; Sky were just controlling it. They were never trying to bring the break back or go for any stage win – they were just riding to stay out of trouble. When Dan attacked, they had to chase him because he's a danger man, so in the last few kilometres, they went pretty hard."
Wednesday's 108.5km stage from Albertville to La Rosière will be a different task for the overall contenders. Yates knows the route well after riding it at last month's Critérium du Dauphiné – a stage that Astana's Pello Bilbao won, while eventual overall winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) put time into Yates.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider is expecting it to be another tough day in the saddle, but says he enjoys the shorter stages.
"It's another hard day. We did the stage at the Dauphiné, so I know it pretty well. It's going to be a hard day – more of the same," said Yates.
"I much prefer the shorter stages. When it's long, we mess around for a little bit and then we start racing right near the end. But when it's short, then we race right from the beginning. I like that – it's good fun."
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