Sean Yates joins Nippo-Delko as coach; Tour of Yorkshire in doubt

The 60-year-old Britton returns to the pro ranks as a trainer for the French-registered ProTour team, UCI ProTour race unsure of start due to financial concerns.

Retired British rider Sean Yates is returning to the pro ranks as a trainer for the French-registered ProTour team Nippo-Delko-One Provence.

According to the Dutch news outlet Wielerflits, the 60-year-old Britton is satisfied with his new position, and has aspirational goals.

“It is the first time that I will train professionals from a French team,” Yates said in a press release. “It is a new chapter for me and I am very happy with it. After I got a message from [managing owner] Philippe Lannes, I immediately got into this project. We have a motivated team that works together in the right direction. This allows us to continue to improve and come a long way.”

Yates’ racing career spanned three decades and included stage wins at the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España, and Paris-Nice. Yates represented Great Britain at the 1980 Olympic Games in the 4000 meter pursuit. At the 1994 Tour de France, Yates took over the yellow jersey after stage 6, but wore it for just one stage, losing it to Johann Museeuw.

Yates ended his racing career with team Motorola 1991 – 1996, and once retired moved into managerial and sporting director roles at CSC, Discovery, Astana, Team Sky, and Tinkoff-Saxo. In 2012, Yates was the Team Sky director when Bradley Wiggins’ won the Tour de France and also took Olympic gold in the individual time trial.

While director-sportif at Tinkoff-Saxo, Yates was sidelined from the 2015 Tour de France for a day, when a Tinkoff-Saxo mechanic who was riding in the team car with Yates launched a water bottle at a TV motorcycle driver who was thought to have been interfering with a bike exchange for Peter Sagan.

Tour de Yorkshire in doubt

The 2020 Tour de Yorkshire is in doubt. Originally scheduled for April 30 – May 3 for the men, and May 1 – 2 for the women, the ASO-managed UCI ProTour event was delayed due to COVID-19 concerns.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the local tourism board Welcome to Yorkshire is experiencing budget troubles and is seeking an additional £1.4m of public money.

It’s been reported that the organization has been struggling since the 2019 resignation of CEO Sir Gary Verity, who brought WorldTour cycling to the region in 2014.

The stage race does not currently have a new date on the reconfigured UCI calendar.