Britain’s Simon Yates won stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday, beating two other survivors of a mass breakaway in the Pyrenees. Defending champion Geraint Thomas and current overall leader Julian Alaphilippe finished the slog over two tough climbs together as any anticipated top 10 shake-up failed to materialise. Simon, brother of Mitchelton Scott captain Adam Yates, is the Vuelta a Espana champion. He also led the Giro d’Italia earlier in 2018 before a meltdown under pressure from eventual champion Chris Froome.
“I’m here to help Adam, he’s doing well and is ready,” he said of his twin who is seventh in the overall and a potential Tour winner.
“But I’m really happy with this win, I got the green light to go from the team and timed it well.
“But now it’s back to the day job,” he smiled.
Simon Yates is over an hour adrift in the overall standings, but punched the air in joy after adding a Tour de France stage to victories in the Vuelta and Giro.
Yates came over the final climb with Bora’s Gregor Muehlberger of Austria and Astana man Pello Bilbao, but launched a long range sprint for the line to win by a clear bike length. Cameras on the distant peloton showed Adam Yates, connected by radio to his team car, smiling.
Overall leader Alaphilippe led the peloton south the pink-bricked city of Toulouse for stage 12’s two mist shrouded Pyrenean peaks after vowing to hold on to the yellow jersey.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini