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Simon Yates to ride Tour de France a year after missing race due to drugs ban

British rider had originally been due to ride Giro d’Italia with twin brother Adam; both could still line up at Vuelta

Simon Yates is to ride the Tour de France this summer after missing last year’s race through an anti-doping ban, his Orica-Scott team has confirmed.

The 24-year-old from Bury was originally due to ride the Giro d’Italia next month with his twin brother Adam.

> Adam and Simon Yates to miss Tour de France, twins will target Giro and Vuelta instead

But concerns over the fitness of Colombian climber Esteban Chaves, who has been struggling with a knee injury, have led the Australian WorldTour team to change the British rider’s programme.

He will also ride the final Monument of the Spring campaign, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, on Sunday.

 Sports director Matt White said: “We are confident that Esteban has made a full recovery from his knee injury and is now back into his Tour de France preparation.

“What we don’t know at the moment is how that time off and lack of racing will affect his performance over the three weeks.

“The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year and we have been able to come up with a plan that will benefit our young GC riders, and the team ambitions for the season.

“Simon will be given the opportunity to line up in his third Tour de France and the pressure on Esteban will be eased a bit as he prepares for his debut. Adam will continue in his preparations for the Giro in a few weeks’ time,” he continued.

Last year, Adam Yates finished fourth overall at the Tour de France and claimed the best young rider’s jersey, the first British rider to win it.

His brother will target that classification in the Tour de France, while he will be aiming to win the best young rider’s contest at the Giro, White said.

“The new programme will give [both] Simon and Adam opportunities to look at white jerseys this year – Adam at the Giro and Simon at the Tour de France.

“That is something we will certainly be aiming for as we ride for the best general classification results possible for our young climbers.”

Simon Yates missed last year’s Tour de France after he tested positive for the anti-asthma drug terbutaline at Paris-Nice last year.

> Simon Yates "ashamed and embarrassed" at doping ban

His team said that its doctor had failed to secure the necessary Therapeutic Use Exemption and in June, the UCI confirmed he had been banned for four months for “non intentional doping.”

The suspension was backdated to 12 March, forcing him to miss the Tour de France, but he returned in time for the Vuelta a Espana where he finished sixth overall and also claimed his maiden Grand Tour stage win.

> Simon Yates takes first Grand Tour stage win at Vuelta

Chaves and both of the Yates brothers could all ride in the three-week Spanish race this year, although Orica-Scott said no decision would be taken until after the Tour de France.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Jackson | 7 years ago
1 like

Come on. If this was young Simonov Yateselsky from the middle of nowhere in Kazakhstan racing for Astana we would all be singing a different tune.

If you're genuinely asthmatic and inexplicably still make it as a pro cyclist then you'd better have all your TUE forms in order. If you're a bit wheezy but fancy a nice little roid boost then you're playing the game and you have to accept the possibility of this happening.

It's the very unfortunate reality of pro cycling that we don't know for sure what Yates is up to. Orica has the appearance of being one of the cleaner teams but you never know, Matt White the DS was as dodgy as they come and Kreuziger and Impey have had suspicious little positives and bio passport irregularities. The best we can do is take the rules at face value and accept that the riders have to stay within them or else face the consequences.

Martyn_K | 7 years ago
1 like

I wish headlines would distinguish between;

1: A drugs ban where someone is caught using and abusing a substance(s) in order to gain an unfair advantage.


2: A 'technical' drugs ban, like this one that was due to an administration error.


I know, i know. A ban is a ban. But for the casual reader and google searcher Yates looks like an out and out cheat. By the way i'm not just saying that due to him being a brit. I think professional athletes in general should be allowed the courtesy.

jonowee | 7 years ago

Man, what a headline. *facepalm*

HarrogateSpa | 7 years ago
1 like

Good. It was disapppointing to have neither of the Yates brothers in the TdF. Now that Simon will be there, it should provide some extra interest and excitement.

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