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Simon Yates switches focus to target Tour de France instead of Giro d’Italia

Orica-Scott change plans after Johan Esteban Chaves injury; Adam Yates targets Giro d'Italia white jersey

Simon Yates will miss this year’s Giro d’Italia and focus instead on the Tour de France, with fellow Orica-Scott team leader Johan Esteban Chaves still recovering from injury.

Yates was set to line up with twin brother Adam for the 100th Corsa Rosa, but Orica-Scott say he will now start Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday before honing his preparations for the Tour.

Adam – who won the white jersey at last year’s Tour de France, and finished fourth overall – will still be racing the Giro d’Italia, however, where he will bid to top the youth classification once again.

Simon Yates will ride the Tour de France, as opposed to the Giro d’Italia as was originally planned (pic – Sirotti)

Explaining the decision, DS Matt White said: “We are confident Esteban has made a full recovery from his knee injury and is now back into his Tour de France preparation.

“What we don’t know at the moment is how that time off and lack of racing will affect his performance over the three weeks.

“The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year and we have been able to come up with a plan that will benefit our young GC riders, and the team ambitions for the season.

“Simon will be given the opportunity to line up in his third Tour de France and the pressure on Esteban will be eased a bit as he prepares for his debut. Adam will continue in his preparations for the Giro in a few weeks’ time.”

Both Yates twins are still set to ride the Vuelta a Espana together, as was the original plan, with a decision to be taken on Chaves – who finished third in last year’s race – after the Tour de France.

Adam Yates will lead Orica-Scott at the Giro d’Italia, before reuniting with his twin brother at the Vuelta a Espana (pic: Sirotti)

White added: “The new program will give Simon and Adam both opportunities to look at whitey jerseys this year – Adam at the Giro and Simon at the Tour de France.

“That is something we will certainly be aiming for as we ride for the best general classification results possible for our young climbers.”

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