Tour de France 2020

Adam Yates wonders whether Froome has the legs to win the Tour

Chris Froome's fellow Brit, who rides for Mitchelton-Scott, is among the contenders to challenge him for yellow.

LES HERBIERS, France (VN) — Hopefully Chris Froome will be tired from winning the Giro d’Italia when he lines up for the Tour de France, says his rival Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

The Team Sky rider won the Giro d’Italia this May in dramatic style. He crashed twice early on and later launched an 80.3-kilometer solo attack in stage 19 to take the stage win in Jafferau and the race overall. He won the race two days later in Rome, on May 27.

Froome is now lining up for the Giro-Tour double, something that has not been successfully done in 20 years. Italian Marco Pantani was the last to do so in 1998. Others have tried since, but have failed. [related title=”More Tour de France news” align=”left” tag=”Tour-de-France”]

“Hopefully he’s tired,” laughed fellow Brit Adam Yates, 25.

“It was a pretty tough Giro. They raced pretty much every stage. Even with the extra week of recovery, it’s still going to take its toll on you.”

Yates’s twin brother Simon led the Giro d’Italia for 13 days and cracked under Team Sky pressure on the Colle delle Finestre. Froome launched his attack shortly afterward.

“I hope so! It’d be better if he does pay for that effort,” Yates continued. “He’s a super strong rider, he has experience and knows what he’s doing. He has a plan and we’ll se how it comes out.

“Last year after the Giro, I was pretty tired. I thought so, anyway. Hopefully he’s pretty tired.”

The Australian WorldTour team raced Simon Yates in the Giro and decided on Adam Yates to lead its Tour team. Having one lead both teams is out of the question, for now. Only Mikel Nieve, their mountain helper, is racing both grand tours.

“It’s not on the planning books at the moment, the goal is now to podium one grand tour at a time,” said sport director Matt White.

“Obviously their age, they are a lot younger than Chris. Who knows, maybe when they are in their 30s when they have seven to eight grand tours in their legs, maybe, but in the immediate future there are no plans for that.

“We have Mikel Nieve, but it was different, he was injured early, he only did Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie, seven days of competition. He’s [34] he’s ridden many grand tours before and had done this before. It’s a different role than trying to win the races.

“The bonus that Chris has is that he’s won the Tour and Vuelta, as well. For the other guys, it’s a little trickier. Chris has been there before and won them both, he knows his body and how to do it.”

Adam Yates appears ready for the Tour de France starting Saturday in Vendée despite fracturing his pelvis in March. He finished in the top-five in stage races Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Amgen Tour of California. Earlier this month, he won the Mont Blanc stage and went runner-up to Geraint Thomas (Sky) in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“At the moment, not really,” Yates said when asked if he could dream of racing both grand tours for the win.

“The Giro’s a hard race. I was pretty tired after I did it last year. Maybe in the future when I have more experience and a bit more kilometers in my legs, but not really.

“Is it feasible what Froome is doing? We’ll find out when we hit the mountains.”

Pantani was only the seventh rider in cycling’s 100 years of grand tours to ever win the Giro and Tour in the same season. Froome could add his name to the list that also includes Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche, and Miguel Indurain.