Adam Yates has so far held his own against some much more experienced riders during this year's Tour de France. With the race now past its halfway point, the Orica-BikeExchange rider sits just behind Chris Froome in the GC and has a firm grip on the white jersey in the young rider classification.
Yates will resume battle in the overall and the young riders' competition when the Tour de France returns to the mountains during stage 12. When it does, he will be riding the, albeit shortened, Mont Ventoux climb for the first time in his career but doesn't appear too concerned with what he'll face.
"It's another mountain top finish, they're all pretty similar," he told Cyclingnews with a nonchalance that you wouldn't expect from someone who has never ridden Ventoux before. "This one's pretty famous but I've never been up so I can't really describe anything about it. We'll just try to get stuck in. If I have good legs, then I will try to do something, if not then I'll just try to hold on and save any seconds I can. That's all there is to it."
Wednesday's stage to Montpellier proved to be a more important day than one would have previously expected when looking at the profile. As the wind battered the course, and the race blew to pieces, several of the GC contenders found themselves in trouble. Yates made it through relatively unscathed, losing 16 seconds to Froome after the race leader escaped up the road in the final 10 kilometres. He said that his teammates had been very careful to keep him out of trouble.
"It was pretty hectic, but it was ok because I had all the guys around me from the team, especially Mat Hayman and Chris Juul-Jenson," said Yates. "As soon as you went into the wind and there was a slight little breeze, they were there riding. I was happy there, and I got through fine, onto tomorrow and a mountain top finish."
Yates said that he was not surprised that Froome had decided to go on what was expected to be a sprint finish. "If you have the opportunity to attack you do it," said Yates. "It's the Tour de France. You don't get a stage for free or seconds for free. If you get an opportunity to gain some time, then you take it, and he keeps doing it."
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