Yates withdrawn from Tour
English rider Simon Yates will leave the Tour de France on Monday’s rest day after his Orica-GreenEdge team decided to withdraw him from the race.
The 21-year-old from Bury was given a surprise call-up to the Tour less than a week before the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, but given that he is still in his first year as a professional, it was never the intention for him to complete all three weeks.
Yates has far exceeded expectations by finishing 15 stages and taking part in two breakaways - both on mountainous days - despite having been ill for much of the race.
He will now travel back to his training base in Girona to rest and recuperate, before returning to action next month, provisionally at the Clasica de San Sebastian in Spain on August 2.
\"The team think it is best to pull the pin now before I am in a box,\" Yates said. \"I have raced double the amount of days I have ever raced before.
\"It would have been good to the finish the race, but it's important to look at the bigger picture and make sure that I don't push myself too far. It has been a brilliant experience, but now I will turn my attentions to doing well in the rest of the season.\"
Yates infiltrated the breakaway on stage eight and then again on stage 14, and on both occasions was only caught by the peloton on the final climb.
He bows out of the race having been in 83rd place overall, 2hrs 17min 10sec down on leader Vincenzo Nibali.
Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White was full of praise for the Briton's performance.
\"Ten out of ten,\" White said. \"For a 21-year-old neo-pro, he contributed every day, everything he could do. Making one break in the Tour de France is an achievement, but to make a couple, and the way he has gone about the whole Tour de France experience, is a great sign for the future.
\"Yes, it would be nice for him to finish the Tour, but it was a group decision that enough is enough and we have a lot of goals for him in the second half of the season.\"
Yates's withdrawal leaves Team Sky's Geraint Thomas as the only Briton left in the Tour.