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Tour de France

Simon Yates to miss Tour de France as BikeExchange backs Matthews and Groenewegen

British GC rider to focus on the Vuelta and skip the Tour de France, no Lawson Craddock after Texan raced the Giro d'Italia.

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Simon Yates will turn his attention to the Vuelta a Espãna and skip the Tour de France this summer with BikeExchange-Jayco set to target stage wins through Michael Matthews and Dylan Groenewegen this July. The race starts in Copenhagen on July and concludes in Paris on July 24, and sports director Matt White believes that the eight riders assembled for the team will race with passion and commitment all the way to the finish in the French capital.

“This is an experienced group to be taking to what is always a beautiful, yet stressful block of racing. We have a team of guys who can win stages and be very competitive across the three weeks over various terrains. There is one thing for sure; this group will put their hearts and souls into our daily plans and objectives from day one in Copenhagen, until we cross that finish line in Paris,” said the Australian.

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Yates was a possible Tour de France starter after he quit the Giro d’Italia due to a knee injury. However his recovery and time off the bike were factors in deciding that he would skip the Tour and instead focus on another GC bid at the Vuelta – a race he won in 2018.

Without a GC contender for the race the Australian outfit will target stage wins through Groenewegen and Matthews. The pair have totted up seven stage wins and a green jersey between them.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Tour de France, the last time I raced was in 2019 and it was a success for me, and so it is great to be returning this year. I will have a strong team, the best support that I need, with really good lead-out men like Luka Mezgec. We’ve been working a lot together this year, we’ve had some good wins and that is the big goal for us in France,” said Groenewegen.

“The second stage in Copenhagen is a stage I am looking forward to, I hope there is not too much wind so it can finish with a sprint. The sprints at the Tour de France are always hectic, not only with all the sprinters but there’s always general classification riders trying to stay at the front too for the time, so it’s always busy in the bunch and this makes it different to other races. Having these experienced riders around me in the finals will be important during the whole Tour.”

Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Luka Mezgec, and Tour de France debutant Nick Schultz make up the rest of the squad. U.S. TT champion Lawson Craddock sits out the race after riding the Giro d’Italia.

“It’s almost time for the spectacle that is the Tour de France and we’re delighted to see the event returning to normal each year, with our fans and sponsors able to join us and be a part of what is one of the biggest sporting events in the world,” said general manager Brent Copeland.

“Our technical staff have been working hard over the past months to select a well-balanced team ready to challenge for stage victories, which is our main objective for this year’s race, and we are looking forward to taking every opportunity with both hands. With the Grand Départ in Copenhagen, I am sure it will be a memorable edition, there is never an easy Tour de France and the parcours looks interesting and should create an exciting three-week race. We believe with the team we have put together; we have plenty of great possibilities to challenge for those prestigious stage victories and we are ready to get started in a week’s time.”