Me and my kit: 5 Sean Yates, Cyclist

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The Independent Online
WHEN I am racing, as in the Tour de France, for about six hours a day, everything has to be just right - bike and clothing. I don't go for fancy stuff on my bike. I use the same equipment that I started with years ago. Using specialised equipment means there is more that can go wrong, and, if there is a crash, more that can get broken.

The bike has to be exact in its measurements, a part of you, almost like a suit. I use a low-profile bike, an Eddy Merckx, with four-spoke wheels and triathlon handle bars for time trials - a great advantage in speed work.

I don't like wearing a helmet, although I have to in some countries because it's obligatory. But I don't think about crashing. The times it happens are relatively few and I'm not willing to suffer a helmet just in case.

I always wear sunglasses, and in bad weather I have rose-tinted lenses. They make it look brighter. I don't know how people survived without sunglasses. They relax your eyes and stop dust getting into them. It all comes down to being comfortable and confident about your gear. Keeping it simple has always worked for me.

Sean Yates, a member of the Motorola team, was lying 114th, 28min 29sec behind the leader, after yesterday's seventh stage of the Tour de France.

(Photograph omitted)

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