Tour de France 2018: The moment Adam Yates's hopes of a first stage victory came crashing down to earth

Only a steep descent stood between him and the victory in Bagnères-de-Luchon – but this is the Pyrenees where roads are cracked by the sun and greased by the rain

Lawrence Ostlere
Bagnères-de-Luchon
Tuesday 24 July 2018 18:40
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Tour De France 2018 Highlights

This was the moment Adam Yates’s hopes of a first stage victory in the Tour de France crashed to earth.

The Briton has put himself in prime position during Tuesday’s long and draining stage 16, attacking off the front of a mass breakaway and leaving several hangers-on behind to reach the top of the 8.3km Col du Portillon alone.

Only a steep descent stood between him and the victory in Bagnères-de-Luchon – but this is the Pyrenees, where the roads are rough and cracked by the sun, and the rain comes down to grease the asphalt.

Adam Yates comes down on the Col de Portillon descent

As Yates sped down the mountains, his victory in sight, he lost control on a left bend and slammed to the ground. He recovered quickly, jumping back on his bike to finish the stage, but it was too late. The French rider and current leader of the mountains classification Julian Alaphilippe raced by in a blur of polka dots to clinch the win.

The winner of the 2016 Tour’s young rider classification was philosophical at the finish.

“It’s just one of those things,” said Yates, who eventually came third behind Alaphilippe and the Spaniard Gorka Izaguirre. “I’ve taken more risks on more technical descents and never had any problems. We don’t recon all the stages and sometimes you don’t know what’s coming up on some of these corners. It was a bit damp and I came down.

“When you come so close to winning a stage of the Tour it’s pretty devastating not just for me but for the team. We’ve been working for a while on trying to do something and when you come that close it’s disappointing.”

Watch Adam Yates's crash below:

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