The team has yet to finalize their plans for next year as they are still waiting to see the full route of the Vuelta a España in December. Yet with just 26km of time trials – the fewest TT kilometers in the race since the 1960s – and a very mountainous second half, the road to the Giro d’Italia looks set for Yates and a host of others. pure climbers.
“I really like the course but we are still waiting for the details and we want to see the GPX files, but if there is one constant characteristic of the Giro it is that it always has a brutal rear”, chief sporting director of Team BikeExchange, Matt White, said Cyclismenews.
“You know what you get with the Giro. It is always the most demanding of the three Grand Tours when it comes to meters of climb and some stages are huge, and we speak of 5,000 meters of climb on certain days. The figure that is circulating at the moment is that there are 51,000m of vertical drop over the entire race… We are preparing for a difficult race.
Yates raced the Giro and Tour combination in 2019 and 2021. The 29-year-old finished eighth and then third in the Giro’s overall standings and won two stages of the Tour de France 2019. He left the Tour empty-handed and at the start of this year after a crash in stage 13, before the race reached the Pyrenees and some of its best chances of a stage victory.
The 53 km time trial of the Tour de France, as well as the paved stage, are likely to deter a number of top climbers from risking their ambitions of the Grand Tour 2022. The landscape of the Giro, at least at basic level, is certainly more inclined towards climbers and especially those who can make a difference during the last week.
“It’s really a race for climbers, but even when the Giro has done around 50 to 60 km of time trial, it’s still a race for climbers, realistically,” added White.
“The best climbers, at the end of the day, climb to the top of the Giro because the stages are so demanding. “
White wouldn’t specifically say which direction his team was leaning in when it came to deciding Yates’ schedules and their other GC hopeful Lucas Hamilton, but logic would suggest Yates would be aiming for the pull rose before focusing again on stage victories on the Tour. The absence of a time trial in the middle of the Giro appears as a real incentive.
“What we’ve seen in the past is that with this time trial in the middle, they hurt some of the non-time trialists. It’s a big effort to run three time trials in the Giro, ”said White.
“We’re still discussing it for the moment but it’s a race he loves, and he also loves the Tour de France. It is very likely that if we see it at the Giro we will also see it on the Tour, but we still have to discuss and of course we still have not seen the course of the Vuelta yet. We are in the process of deciding our plans but it is certainly a great route for climbers.