Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) played down his chances in the overall classification at the Tour de France, despite holding onto a podium position following stage 13, the first of two time trials. Riding just his second Tour de France, Yates has been mixing it with the top names and has come as close as 16 seconds to the yellow jersey.
Yates lost a position but remained on the podium, in third place, now 2:45 behind Chris Froome (Team Sky). The level-headed rider has not let his early performances go to his head and says that there is no pressure on him to maintain that podium spot.
"It's still hard to say, there's still a week to go," he told the press after collecting his white jersey. "You can have a bad day and lose minutes so we'll just try to do the max every day and if it works then it does and if it doesn't then no pressure, no stress. Every day we're learning."
That doesn't mean that Yates is going to let it slip away from him, and he intends on putting up a fight as the race hits the all-important Alps. "The position we're in now, we just have to keep fighting. We have a week to go and on every stage if there is a chance to take some seconds back then I'll try to do it. Hopefully, everything goes OK, the form and the sensations have been good so we'll fight all the way to Paris."
Yates turned up on the start line knowing that he was likely to lose time to some of his rivals, with the time trial discipline not one that has historically suited him. For Yates, the day would be about minimising losses. Like many of the GC favourites, whose weight is down to the bare minimum, Yates found the wind a particular challenge. In the end, he lost just 3:00 to the stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and gained time on his closest rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
"Today, it went OK. Everyone knows that I'm not great at time trialling, so I lost some time. Considering how small I am and good I am at time trialling, I didn't lose too much," Yates said. "I'm happy with what I did. It's probably one of the longest time trials that I've done. On both the climbing sections, I felt strong; I had the power. It was just the cross winds sections and the flat where I suffered quite a lot. We did the max, we came out OK, and we're here to fight another day."
The Tour de France is much like a travelling festival, going from town to town with plenty of fanfare and celebration. Friday's stage was in stark contrast following the atrocities in Nice. The stage began and ended with a minute's silence, and a subdued atmosphere enveloped the day. Rather than the jersey presentation, the four jersey wearers all took to the stage – already in their classification jerseys and wearing black armbands – and stood for a minute's silence.
"It's a horrible situation what happened, and prayers and wishes go out to everyone affected," Yates said.
Tour de France stage 13 highlights video