A healthy Adam Yates nearly blitzes Grand Prix de Montréal: ‘Some faster guys beat me’

After two seasons at Ineos Grenadiers, Yates would not comment on his future: 'It will be revealed soon.'

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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MONTREAL (VN) — Adam Yates was all smiles Sunday even if he didn’t win the grueling, attack-riddled Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.

After a season dogged by illness and frustration, the Ineos Grenadiers climber was feeling whole and racing with unbridled enthusiasm Sunday to kick to fourth in the one-day Canadian WorldTour race.

“I knew I was never going to win the sprint there, so I tried to go on the climb. The longest climb is the furthest away from the finish, so it was going to be tricky,” he said. “I did everything I could, and some faster guys beat me.

“The condition is good,” Yates said. “I am just hoping to take this back to Europe to keep racing and keep trying to win.”

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Yates is coming off an uneven season that was marred by illness early in the season and a bout of COVID-19 right before the Tour de France, where he still managed to punch into the top-10 overall with ninth.

“I’ve been sick for a long time, it appears almost the whole season,” Yates said. “Before the Tour, I got COVID at Swiss. And then I got illness in the Tour. It was bad luck, that’s life, and you get on with it.

“But now I am not sick, and I feel better, and I am up there fighting for the win,” Yates said. “So I hope to stay healthy for the rest of the year and I will try my best.”

Yates: ‘Montréal suited me better than Québec’

Yates won the climber’s prize Sunday in Montréal. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Fully recovered now, Yates won a stage and the overall at the Deutschland Tour to come to Canada with top legs. He kicked to ninth Friday at GP Québec, and the longer course Sunday in Montréal suited him even more.

A pair of top-10s here in Canada, with ninth in Québec and fourth in Montréal, confirmed Yates is back at his best even if it comes late in 2022.

“This race is a lot harder than Québec and it’s suits me a little bit more. I tried on the last climb, but there were still some guys on the wheel,” Yates said. “Everyone in that group was faster than me, and I tried again on the little kicker, but it wasn’t enough.

Dani Martínez jumped first and Yates followed in his wake to set up the strong finale.

“We spoke to each other and said if you feel good you can try. We really didn’t have a plan as such, and when the moment arises to try to take that opportunity,” he said. “It was a really good ride. It’s the first race back with him since the Tour, so he’s going pretty good.”

With the selection made, Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogačar were both on his wheel, and he could read the writing on the wall.

“I knew I was never going to win a sprint against these guys. I went full-gas on the long climb and I had a look around, and everyone there was pretty quick,” he said. “I knew I had to try one more time, and they were still there. There was not much more I could do.”

Yates on future: ‘It will be revealed soon’

Adam Yates kicked to fourth in the explosive Montréal race. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Yates will return to Europe to race in the fall classics in Italy and make a run for Il Lombardia to close out his 2022 season.

When asked by VeloNews about his contract situation, Yates said news is coming soon. After two seasons with Ineos Grenadiers, there has been some speculation that might move to another team.

Yates refused to comment, and only smiled when pressed about the future.

“It will be revealed soon,” Yates said with a laugh. “You will find out.”

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