• Simon Yates claims the white jersey a year after brother Adam achieved the same feat. (Getty)Source: Getty
Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) has claimed the Tour de France best young rider competition one year after his twin brother Adam achieved the same feat.
Kevin Eddy

24 Jul 2017 - 8:15 AM 

Yates, 24, finished in seventh position overall, 6m14s behind race winner Chris Froome (Team Sky). He held the white jersey from Stage 5, facing down a spirited challenge from Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) in the mountains. Meintjes eventually finished second in the competition, 2m6s down on Yates.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Yates said, also giving credit to his brother Adam's achievements in 2016. “I hope it’s one of those things that we look back on and see it as a great achievement that we’ve won the white jersey as brothers back-to-back.”

“I tried when I could to attack but also saved energy by staying in the wheels when it was the right time too,” Yates said.

“Whenever I have the opportunity to attack I like to race aggressive."

"I think it’s great for the fans, but riding GC is also about picking the right time to do that and the right time to sit back and I am learning that.

“A lot of things have contributed to this throughout the three weeks. I had a good prologue and it was actually earlier in the race when I made the most difference. Louis had a great ride and clawed a lot of time back on me but I managed to hang on."

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Orica-Scott sport director Matt White called the team's Tour de France campaign an unqualified success.
“It’s Simon’s first time targeting the general classification at the Tour," said White. "We knew if we won the white jersey that it would put us in the top ten in the general classification because we know the talent of Meinjtes.”

“The development that Simon has shown these last few weeks has been a big step up. We are proud with how all of the boys have ridden."

The Australian team has been amassing a bank of general classification talent, with the Yates brothers and Colombian Esteban Chaves spearheading Orica-Scott's transition to a GC team rather than stage hunters. Chaves had a Tour to forget, however: he was clearly off the pace from the outset and eventually finished 62nd, nearly two-and-a-half hours down.

“It’s been a gradual process for this team to learn to ride for the general classification over the past 18 months. We have learnt in every Grand Tour and we’ve had a different group in each Grand Tour," added White.

“We know that our leaders can podium and they are only going to get better. Now we also know that no matter who is at what race, we have different combinations to support them.”