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Tour de France: Yates falters in high mountains

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Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) was attentive in the crosswinds

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) was attentive in the crosswinds
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yet another white jersey for Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)

Yet another white jersey for Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A very happy Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) on the podium to collect the white jersey

A very happy Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) on the podium to collect the white jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Yates remained in the lead of the young riders' classification after stage 15 of the Tour de France.

Simon Yates remained in the lead of the young riders' classification after stage 15 of the Tour de France.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) found himself on the defensive during stage 17 of the Tour de France, fighting to keep from losing too much time after being distanced on the Col du Galibier.

Yates, 24, came unglued when Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) attacked. The Irishman began the stage one second behind Yates in the overall classification, and by the day's end was 90 seconds clear into sixth.

"It was a very difficult day, I didn't have the best day and lost some time there in the final," Yates said. "I didn't really blow up mentally, I think I limited my losses OK."

The gap to the group ahead was only 20 seconds or so for Yates at the top of the Galibier, but a stiff headwind on the 25-kilometre descent to the finish, and only one rider for company, Dimension Data's Serge Pauwels, meant a difficult chase to the line.

"There was quite a lot of wind about and I got shelled off the group towards the end of the final climb. I really fought a lot to stay there as I knew there was still a long way to the finish but I couldn't do anymore."

Yates did enough to keep his rival in the best young riders' classification, Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates), from threatening his white jersey. Yates finished 3:14 behind stage winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), but lost just 90 seconds to the South African, keeping a 2:28 advantage in the young rider competition.

"We are pretty far into the Tour now and I think I did really well to not lose too much time today," Yates said. "I went full gas on the final climb and I wasn't strong enough today so I hope to have better legs."