The 28-year-old Lancastrian has seen his overall hopes frustrated in each of the last two Tours but would have targeted the general battle again this year without a disease that plagued his preparations before resuming the race at the Criterium du Dauphine . earlier this month.
“The last couple of years I haven’t had the ideal preparation and then we got into the race targeting GC and it didn’t go as planned,” said Yates. “I think it would be silly to do that again. I was sick, it was quite a serious illness.
“Targeting GC is a big request and if you’re not 100% you’ll be left behind. There are a lot of stages this year for the breakaway, and I think there will be a lot of chances.
When asked if his mindset would change if he ended up at the top of the standings as the race progressed, Yates said, “I don’t really think about it. I’d rather just try to win a stage and see where it takes me.
“I don’t think we need to impose restrictions or ambitions. I’ll just try to win a step and keep it simple. From there we can do good things.
Since finishing fourth in the 2016 Tour and ninth in the Giro d’Italia 2017, things have not gone as planned for Yates in the Grand Tours.
He was hampered by a fractured pelvis suffered before the 2018 Tour, as he felt he had run too much ahead of last year’s race as he passed out in a tough third week to finish 29th to the general.
But his ambitions remain in the sport’s biggest races, a factor in his decision to leave Mitchelton-Scott for Team Ineos at the end of the season.
The move will see him separated from his twin brother Simon, who signed a new two-year contract with the team where they both signed as neo-pros in 2014.
“I started my career here six or seven years ago,” Yates said. “It was not an easy decision but I’m happy with what I chose. I made my decision a few weeks ago and it has evolved quite quickly.
Mitchelton-Scott chief athletic director Matt White has confirmed he hopes to keep Adam, but said “sometimes the puzzle just doesn’t fit” when it comes to budgets.
But Yates insisted the impending split would do nothing to affect him for the remainder of this season, and suggested the Tour might not be his last three-week race with the Australian squad.
“There’s still the Vuelta at the end of the year, it could happen, but the team know it doesn’t matter what happens, I’ll always do my best,” Yates said.
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Thanks, James Mitchinson. Editor.