BikeExchange-Jayco brushes off Simon Yates pre-Giro d’Italia blow-up

Team cites heat as cause of Yates losing nearly 12 minutes on mountain stage of Vuelta a Asturias in crucial pre-Giro tune-up.

Photo: Getty Images

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BikeExchange-Jayco isn’t getting hot under the collar about team captain Simon Yates blowing up at the Vuelta a Asturias.

The British climber cracked 20km from the line and lost 11:33 in the key climbing stage in the Asturias on Saturday, marking a rapid reversal of his sizzling solo victory the day before.

“We’ve come straight from an altitude camp up in Andorra and the last three weeks have been cold there. Today was a big shock to the system with temperatures close to 30 degrees,” said sport director Matt White.

Yates and his team are using the three-day Spanish race as a final tune-up for a push at pink at this month’s Giro d’Italia. As far as BikeExchange is concerned, the Asturias – and any related weather woes – are just a part of the process.

“We came here to prepare and this is all part of the preparation process for the Giro,” White said.

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Yates is one of a deep field of contenders for the maglia rosa this month.

All expectations are that Yates will be in the frame alongside other A-star like Richard Carapaz and Miguel Ángel López by the time the race closes down on Verona after three weeks of racing.

The Brit has a strong season start in his legs, a deep understanding of the Italian race after starting the past four editions, and a team all-in to support him.

One thing that will be concerning Yates ahead of the race roll-out Friday is the possibility of grim weather.

The sunny sufferfest Yates endured Saturday is not the first time he has been undone by unfavorable conditions. Yet ironically, it’s typically chilly winter racing and snowy high-mountain summits that see the whippet-thin climber struggling.

“What can you do? I mean, I can wear a few extra clothes when it comes but I live in Andorra anyway where it’s quite cold all the time. We’ll just have to hope that it’s a nice race,” Yates told VeloNews of his past problems in a call this week.

“It’s just one of those things that you have to deal with as the race goes on. I won the last stage of Paris-Nice and that was raining and cold. It was zero degrees at the top of one of the climbs there. In that regard, sometimes I can deal with it. But it just depends on the day and maybe the choice of clothing.”

The Giro is renowned for throwing the whole spectrum of weather conditions at the unsuspecting peloton. Yates and Co. could see searing high sun on the southern island of Sicily in the first week and frozen Alpine passes two weeks later.

Expect Yates to have packed clothes for all conditions when the Giro rolls out Friday.

“We will bounce back quickly and that starts tomorrow,” White promised.

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