Adam Yates co-leads Orica-Scott's Vuelta a Espana challenge with brother Simon alternate option in the mountains - Road Cycling UK

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Adam Yates co-leads Orica-Scott’s Vuelta a Espana challenge with brother Simon alternate option in the mountains

Johan Esteban Chaves and Yates twins races as trio at Grand Tour for first time

Adam Yates and Johan Esteban Chaves will spearhead Orica-Scott’s GC challenge at the Vuelta a Espana, with Simon Yates viewed as ‘a third option in the mountains’.

The Yates twins, 25, are both set to ride their second Grand Tour of the season, and will ride alongside fit-again Colombian Chaves, 27, for the first time as a trio.

But whereas 2016 Tour de France white jersey winner Adam and last year’s Vuelta third-placed finisher Chaves are the primary focal points of the team, the pressure has been eased on last month’s Tour de France white jersey winner Simon.

Though directeur sportif Neil Stephens expects the team’s ambitions to take shape as the race unfolds, pointing to Simon’s work for Chaves last year despite also winning a stage and finishing sixth himself.

Adam and Simon Yates will both race the Vuelta a Espana, with Johan Esteban Chaves joining the British twins as a three-pronged attack (pic – Sirotti)

“We have the best general classification riders we can put together, we have all three of them here, and that is going to be a bit of a challenge,” Stephens acknowledged.

“It’s an exciting challenge for us all to focus on, but at the end of the day the team is our leader and all three riders have always fully committed to that.

“We did it at the Vuelta last year with Simon and Esteban and in the final the race is sorted out on the road. Despite finishing with a top 10 himself, Simon was selfless in his support of our podium finish.

“The aim is a team result in Madrid, who it is, it doesn’t matter.”

Adam Yates raced the Giro d’Italia at the start of the year, finishing ninth overall after losing the white jersey in the final time trial – hindered by the crash on Blockhaus on stage nine that also ended Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa’s GC hopes.

Simon, meanwhile, was due to race at the Giro but switched to the Tour when Chaves got injured, and finished seventh overall, as well as winning the white jersey.

Chaves finished 62nd overall as he worked his way back to fitness, but will now look to repeat his previous Grand Tour success which saw him finish on the Giro and Vuelta podiums last year.

Simon Yates grabbed his first Grand Tour stage win at last year’s race (pic: Sirotti)

The Orica-Scott team also boasts Sam Bewley and Svein Tuft, who will be key figures in the team time trial and on the rare flatter stages, while Jack Haig and Carlos Verona will serve as climbing domestiques.

Chris Juul-Jensen and Magnus Cort Nielsen complete the line-up, and Stephens admits given the quality of the riders on the startlist, just a podium finish would be a huge achievement.

“Looking at the quality of rivals, if we were able to repeat what we did last year and get on the podium in Madrid that would be a really fantastic result,” he concluded.

Orica-Scott for 2017 Vuelta a Espana

Adam Yates (GBR)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Johan Esteban Chaves (COL)
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN)
Jack Haig (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Svein Tuft (CAN)
Carlos Verona (ESP)

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