Simon Yates (Great Britain) – stage victory at the Tour of Britain
Bury-born ace Simon Yates had already had a 2013 to remember having been crowned world points champion on the track in Minsk in February. But the 21-year-old twin of fellow rising star Adam, ensured he took his form into the road season too, performing consistently well during the year for the British Cycling academy team. Youth classification victories at the 2.2-ranked Fleche du Sud and An Post Ras were followed by two stage victories at the Tour de l’Avenir, ensuring he entered the Tour of Britain in good form.
Having already secured top-ten finishes in Kendal in stage two and in Caerphilly – after the tough climb of Caerphilly Mountain – in stage five, the rising star had already been earmarked as one to look out for. However, against an elite field, nobody could have anticipated his stunning performance the following day on the Tour’s first ever summit finish in its ten-year history.
With overall leader Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), and climbing aces Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) all in opposition, Yates accelerated away as they rounded the final corner on Haytor. And with nobody able to keep in touch, the youngster crossed the line two seconds clear of his nearest challengers for the biggest win of his fledgling career. Having gone on to seal the white jersey too, Yates’ performances have earned him a WorldTour contract with Orica-GreenEDGE next year.