Adam Yates to wear white jersey after air bridge mishap

Young Brit needs stitches in chin but moves second overall after GC recount

Britain’s Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) will wear the white jersey on stage eight of the 2016 Tour de France after crashing in the final kilometre of stage seven when an air bridge collapsed.

The banner, holding up the flamme rouge, deflated as Yates was riding into the final kilometre of the stage to Lac de Payolle, won by Briton Steven Cummings (Dimension Data).

Bury-born 23-year-old Yates had earned a small gap over the GC men after attacking over the top of the Col d’Aspin but finished the stage bloodied and bruised, requiring stitches in his chin, after the freak accident.

The air bridge holding up the flamme rouge collapsed, injuring Adam Yates

Initial results showed him finishing more than two minutes down on the GC favourites but – as expected – the timings were re-evaluated as a result of the incident, which also held up the peloton.

Times were instead taken at the 3km-to-go mark, where Yates held a seven-second advantage over the peloton – enough to overhaul Julian Alaphilippe’s six-second lead in the youth classification.

So, while Alaphilippe was presented with the white jersey on the podium after the stage, it will be Yates who rides from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon in the jersey.

Speaking about the race, Yates stated his frustration at being injured but admitted it could have been a lot worse.

Yates had earned a gap over the top of the Col d’Aspin but his efforts did not go unrewarded – the race jury later awarded him the white jersey after taking GC times from the 3km-to-go mark (pic: Sirotti)

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “There’s not much you can do. I had no time to react.

“It’s a good job it was just me on my own. It could have been a lot worse with the peloton sprinting at 70 kph.

“It is what it is. Nothing can be done about it. I can’t tell you what happened. The barrier came down. I did attack at the top of the climb. I tried to make a gap to take the white jersey.”

As it was, the race jury’s ruling means his effort was not in vain, with the revised GC also seeing Greg van Avermaet’s lead in the yellow jersey back down to less than six minutes.

The BMC Racing man joined the day’s break and held on to finish fifth on the day – enough to extend his lead overall though not by as much as it first seemed.

Tour de France 2016: revised GC after stage seven

1) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing – 34.09.44hrs
2) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange +5.50
3) Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) – Etixx-QuickStep +5.51
4) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +5.53
5) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha +5.54
6) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +5.57
7) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – ST
8) Warren Barguil (FRA) – Giant-Alpecin
9) Pierre Rolland (FRA) – Cannondale
10) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep

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