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Yates holds off Bibao to land first ever Tour de France win

 

Simon Yates
Simon Yates

By Ian Parker

Simon Yates claimed his first career Tour de France victory on stage 12 from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider held off Gregor Muhlberger and Pello Bilbao in a sprint after the trio got away from their fellow escapees on the climb of the Hourquette d'Ancizan with a little over 30km remaining of the 209.5km stage.

Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner, is riding the Tour to help his twin brother Adam's general classification ambitions, but having lost over an hour in the overall during the first 10 stages he took his opportunity to go for glory.

"I've been saving energy until we got here in the mountains and this was the first chance to try something," he said. "Normally I would be back helping Adam but I had my own chance and grabbed it with both hands.

"I wasn't very confident of beating either of them as I didn't know how fast they are. But my director said I had to be in front coming round the last corner so I made sure I did that and thankfully held on to win.

"I'm very proud of winning stages in all three Grand Tours and hopefully there are more to come.

"We'll see if there are more chances this Tour - my main priority is to help Adam. I just had the chance to get up the road today. I'll see how I am in the next few days.

"We're having a fantastic Tour and long may it continue."

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