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Simon Yates disagrees with call by team to withdraw him from Tour de France

Warrior mentality: Orica-GreenEdge youngster Simon Yates wasn't happy when his team withdrew him from the Tour de France.

Warrior mentality: Orica-GreenEdge youngster Simon Yates wasn't happy when his team withdrew him from the Tour de France. Photo: Getty Images

Carcassonne: Simon Yates, one of Orica-GreenEDGE’s potential grand tour contenders, was against the decision by his team management to withdraw him from the Tour de France after the 15th stage on Sunday.

His opposition to the call, made by team sports director Matt White after Sunday’s stage, was revealed after the British rider left the team on Monday from its hotel in Narbonne during the second of two rest days for the Tour.

White said the original decision was to pull Yates, a 21-year-old first year professional who is gifted as a climber with all-rounders’ potential, after stage 12 from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint Etienne last Thursday – before the two Alpine stages.

But White said Yates’ opposition to not continuing and racing up to Sunday’s finish in Paris – including this week's three stages in the Pyrenees – was good to hear, as it revealed the natural competitive flare and spirit he has and will need.

“He wasn’t super happy with the decision to go home. He is a racer. He is hungry and he really wanted to finish the Tour de France,” White said of Yates, the twin brother of Orica-GreenEDGE teammate Adam Yates who is not racing in the Tour.

White said the decision to take Yates out of the race was only taken because: “We are looking at the big picture.

"This next week of racing is solid and he has a lot of important races from now until the end of the season to come. So we took the guessing out of it, so that he is not going to finish in a box by doing this last week.

“I understand how he feels. I’m thrilled he feels that way. You want your athletes to be hungry. But he is 21, and a rookie professional who has raced two weeks in his first Tour in which he also rode in two breakaways.

"This is best for his development.”

For Yates, his next event will be the hilly one day Clasica San Sebastian World Tour race in Spain on Saturday, August 2.

Australian road champion and Orica-GreenEDGE temmate Simon Gerrans, who is racing in the Tour, will be the team’s leader for the Clasica San Sebastian, but Yates still will be a key support rider.

“We’re going there to win with Gerrans, but we’ll need him [Yates],” White said of the Spanish race that falls on the weekend after the Tour finishes in Paris.

"Yates is climbing at a real high level and he should rebound from the Tour at another level. He’s got a busy program … We don’t need to push the kid that hard at 21 [by making him also finish the Tour]."

Meanwhile, the Orica-GreenEDGE team spent Monday's rest day in relative calm.

Despite riders going on a casual ride, they welcomed a visit by players of the Australian-owned Narbonne rugby club.

"They came round for a catch up and drink and a bit of a chat with the boys before dinner … " White said.

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