The Mitchelton-Scott rider, who finished fourth in 2016, has been recovering from illness in the lead-up to this year’s edition of the race, and that has helped to inform his strategy.
“I’m feeling good, I’m feeling fresh and I’m ready to get stuck in,” he said on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t 100 percent at the Criterium Dauphine, but I went in and every day I was getting better and better. I got in the break and I was up there. Then I had a few days rest and it was straight into the recon camp. Every day I’m getting better and every day I’m feeling more like myself. It’s not been ideal but I’m getting better.”
Yates has struggled in the mountains in recent Tour de France showings, but with the pressure off this year, he is targeting a first stage win.
“In the last couple of years I’ve not had the ideal preparation and then we’ve gone into the race targeting GC and it’s not gone to plan,” he said. ”I think it would be silly to do that again. I’ve been sick, it was quite a severe illness. Targeting GC is a big ask and if you’re not 100 percent you’re going to be left behind. There are a lot of stages this year for the breakaway, and I think that there will be a lot of chances.”
The race will mark Yates’ final Tour ride with Mitchelton-Scott ahead of his move to Team Ineos in 2021, and the 28-year-old is keen to leave the team he turned professional with in 2014 on a positive note.
“There’s still the Vuelta at the end of the year that might happen, but the team knows that it doesn’t matter what happens, I’m always going to try my best.
“That’s always been the case since I turned professional in 2014. The whole Tour is going to be an attacking and aggressive race.
“I started my career here, six or seven years ago. It wasn’t an easy decision [to leave], but I’m happy with what I chose. I made my mind up a couple of weeks ago and it moved pretty quickly from there.”
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