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by Shane Stokes
December 16, 2017
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Although the Tour de France is still almost seven months away, the current Orica-Scott squad – which will be known as Michelton-Scott in 2018 – has decided the issue of leadership for the event. The Australian WorldTour squad has named Adam Yates as its protected rider for the event, with the Briton to line out alongside sprinter Caleb Ewan.
Yates was a superb fourth overall in the 2016 Tour de France and won the best young rider classification. He focussed on the Giro and Vuelta in 2017, but will now head back to the French event. “It feels good to be going back to the Tour de France and I am very excited about the challenges it will bring,” he said on Friday. “The Tour will always be a special race for me, having watched it growing up through to getting the opportunity to race it for the first time in 2015.”
“I am still developing as a rider and, as always, do not feel pressure after my result in 2016, I will do my best and we will see how it goes. It was good to try a different race programme last year but there is no denying that I am looking forward to lining up in Vendee next July.”
Head sports director Matt White said that the 2017 target was to do two Grand Tours for the first time, but that Yates is happy to now return to the Tour. “He of course had a breakthrough Tour de France in 2016, with a fourth place and winning the white jersey,” he stated. “He will return to France with a big year under him this year and a lot more experience in the role of leading a team for general classification.”
“We won’t be the only team heading to the Tour with a world class sprinter and GC leader and I am confident we have a group of guys who can manage helping both Caleb and Adam in this two-pronged approach.”
Click through to read more at the Orica-Scott website.