British neo pro Simon Yates to make Tour de France debut with Orica-GreenEDGE

Australian team name 21-year-old English rider in nine-man squad

Simon Yates will make his Tour de France debut as the only English-born rider on the start line in Leeds after being named in Orica-GreenEDGE’s nine-man squad.

Bury-born neo pro Yates, 21, is part of the team who will support team leader Simon Gerrans when the race starts on Saturday July 5, though twin brother Adam is not selected as he enjoys a break from racing after a storming start to his own professional career.

Simon Yates, pictured after winning the mountains classification at the GP di Lugano, will make his Tour de France debut (pic: Sirotti)

Neither was due to race the Tour this year, but after missing a month through a broken collarbone sustained in Turkey, Simon was ruled to have the condition required to take the start line of cycling’s greatest race.

Orica-GreenEDGE DS Matt White said of the selection: “Simon has certainly achieved a lot more than we would have imagined up to this point.

“It wasn’t the plan to bring him into the roster for the Tour de France, but for what we want to achieve as a team, he’s a great fit. It is no secret that we are targeting the intermediate mountain stages, and Simon has shown in his results throughout the year that he is more than capable of great results.

“Simon’s inclusion begs the question of Adam’s exclusion. Simon’s broken collarbone in the Tour of Turkey has been a blessing in disguise.

“One of the reasons Adam is not going is because he has been racing and on very good condition since January. It wouldn’t be a wise decision for us to send Adam. With Simon’s forced break due to injury, he’s fresh and ready to race.”

Following a string of Brits missing out on selection for the Tour, it is a huge boost for British Cycling fans as Yates joins Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas (both Team Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) on the start line.

He is joined in the Orica-GreenEDGE squad by four of the riders from last year’s squad, when the Australian team won two stages and spent four days in the yellow jersey.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Gerrans, the Australian national champion, who became the team’s first Tour stage winner last year before pulling on the maillot jaune after the team time trial leads the way.

Simon Yates’ broken collar bone has proved to be a blessing in disguise as it has allowed him a shot at the Tour de France (pic: Sirotti)

The Tour Down Under winner is joined by Swiss rider Michael Albasini – who won three stages at the Tour de Romandie, and Australian Commonwealth Games medal hopeful Simon Clarke from last year’s team.

Tireless domestique Svein Tuft, who wore the first pink jersey of this year’s Giro d’Italia before becoming one of just two Orica-GreenEDGE riders to finish the race, also returns.

Daryl Impey, who last year became the first African ever to pull on the yellow jersey after taking over from Gerrans last year, is not included however.

Instead, Mat Hayman will serve as road captain having signed from Team Sky in the winter, while Giro d’Italia stage winner Michael Matthews, who wore the maglia rosa for much of the first week, is also included.

Luke Durbridge, who crashed out of the Giro, has recovered in time to take his place on the start line, while Belgian rider Jens Keukeleire completes the squad.

White added: “I am very happy with the roster we have assembled. It’s a good mix of youth and experience.

“This year we are going to the Tour without a sprinter for the flat stages and will be targeting numerous stages. The goal for the team is to walk away with a stage win.”

Orica-GreenEDGE squad for the 2014 Tour de France

Simon Gerrans (AUS)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Mathew Hayman (AUS)
Michael Albasini (SUI)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Simon Clarke (AUS)
Svein Tuft (CAN)

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.