Adam and Simon Yates target Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana in 2017 - Road Cycling UK

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Adam and Simon Yates target Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana in 2017

British twins to miss Tour de France, where Johan Esteban Chaves will lead Orica-Scott

British twins Adam and Simon Yates will forego this year’s Tour de France to instead focus on the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, Orica-Scott have announced.

The 24-year-old Bury-born riders form two parts of the Australian team’s triumvirate of rising Grand Tour contenders, alongside Johan Esteban Chaves, but the Colombian will lead Orica-Scott at the Tour de France.

Adam won the white jersey of Best Young Rider at the 2016 Tour de France, while Simon took a stage win and sixth place overall at the Vuelta a Espana.

Chaves, meanwhile, finished on the podium at the Giro and Vuelta, and will make his Tour de France debut in the summer, before joining the two Brits for the Vuelta a Espana.

Adam and Simon Yates will forego the 2017 Tour de France, riding instead at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana (pic – Sirotti)

Neither of the Yates brothers has previously started the Giro d’Italia, but will now go up against Movistar’s Nairo Quintana at the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Astana’s Fabio Aru and Welshman Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) are also expected to be among the contenders.

And directeur sportif Matt White believes the duo will face one of the toughest Grand Tours in recent memory.

“The plan for the Giro d’Italia is to go with a two-pronged attack with the Yates brothers riding for the general classification,” White said.

“It’s a very special edition of the Giro and maybe the toughest last week of a Grand Tour I have ever seen. The boys are up to the challange and it looks to be the best field ever assembled.

“People on the outside might think it’s a bit strange that we are not sending a lad that finished fourth last year back to the Tour de France. But it’s simple, we want to give the guys a bigger foundation for the future because that’s where their biggest potential lies.

“Their results have been impressive but we aren’t going to see the very best of them for a few years yet. Instead, we decided we will do two Grand Tours with them. The physical maturity and Grand Tour experience will be of great benefit for them both in the years to come.”

Adam Yates made history at the 2016 Tour de France – the Bury-born rider became the first Brit to ever top the youth classification (pic: Sirotti)

After Chaves goes wheel-to-wheel with Quintana, Chris Froome (Team Sky) et al at the Tour de France, the three will then line-up all together for the first time in a Grand Tour at the Vuelta.

And White says, with Chaves’ condition coming out of the Tour de France an unknown factor, it will be the Yates brothers leading the team again.

“It will be the only Grand Tour this year that we will see them race all together and this is also an exciting prospect for us,” he concluded.

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