Tour de France: English rider Simon Yates given surprise call-up to Orica-GreenEdge team
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 01/07/14 4:25pm
English rider Simon Yates will make a surprise debut at the Tour de France after being included in Orica-GreenEdge’s nine-man line-up.
The 21-year-old from Bury had not been expected to be selected given that he is in his first year as a professional and broke his collarbone at the Tour of Turkey in April.
However, the injury gave him chance to rest and having shown he is back in form by finishing third in the British national road race on Sunday, Orica-GreenEdge now hope he can help them gain wins in the Tour’s medium-mountain stages.
Sports director Matt White said: "Simon has certainly achieved a lot more than we would have imagined up to this point. It wasn't the plan to bring him into the roster for the Tour de France, but for what we want to achieve as a team, he’s a great fit.
'Capable of great results'
“It is no secret that we are targeting the intermediate mountain stages, and Simon has shown in his results throughout the year that he is more than capable of great results."
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Although Simon has been selected, twin brother Adam is not in the Australian squad’s line-up, despite winning the Tour of Turkey and finishing an impressive sixth at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month.
White added: “Simon’s inclusion begs the question of Adam’s exclusion. Simon’s broken collarbone in the Tour of Turkey has been a blessing in disguise.
“One of the reasons Adam is not going is because he has been racing and on very good condition since January. It wouldn't be a wise decision for us to send Adam. With Simon’s forced break due to injury, he’s fresh and ready to race.”
As it stands, Simon will be the only Englishman at the race and one of only four Britons, along with Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas.
Yates, who is a climbing expert, announced himself as one of the brightest young prospects in British cycling by winning a stage and finishing third overall at last year's Tour of Britain.
His appearance at last weekend's British nationals was only his third race since breaking his collarbone, but his comeback has so far gone well, having also finished seventh overall at the Tour of Slovenia.
Orica-GreenEdge’s Tour de France team: Jens Keukeleire, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman, Michael Albasini, Michael Matthews, Simon Clarke, Simon Gerrans, Simon Yates, Svein Tuft.