Flourishing British youngster Adam Yates is looking forward to returning home for the British Cycling National Road Championships after a noteworthy start to his career with Orica-GreenEDGE.
The 21-year-old from Bury has lit up cycling’s WorldTour in the first half of the year with a stage win and overall victory at the Tour of Turkey followed by a strong showing in the Criterium du Dauphine.
Neo-pro Yates finished sixth in the general classification in France, the highest-placed British rider ahead of Tour de France champion Chris Froome, and is now looking ahead to the national championships on 29 June in Monmouthshire, Wales.
“I know the level in Britain always steps up every year and you come back and you don't realise how hard you have to go to be competitive so it's good,” said Adam, who signed with Orica last October along with twin brother Simon.
“I'll come back and see some of the guys back from home it should be good fun.”
Yates, who is also part of the Great Britain Cycling Team, played down his chances of victory over the 117-mile parcours with a strong blend of domestic and World Tour teams set to compete.
“The thing with the nationals, it's always a bit of a lottery,” Yates said.
“Sometimes you make the right move and it stays away and then sometimes you're stuck in a group and the break goes up the road and gets 10 minutes and you're a bit stuck.
“Obviously I want to do well and it would be great to win the jersey but it'd be pretty difficult to win I think. I'm going quite well and I'll give it a go and we'll see how it goes.”
Only in his first year as a professional on the WorldTour, Yates himself has been surprised by his early form for the Australian outfit.
He is full of praise for his new team, who signed the Yates twins on the back of performances at the Tour de l'Avenir and Tour of Britain in 2013.
“I can't complain really,” Yates said. “I wasn’t expecting to move up to this level so quickly and start winning so it's been quite a good surprise and we've still got a long season to go.
“Hopefully I can get some more results or try and do something in some more races but so far it has been pretty good.
“There's never any pressure during the races and when I get an opportunity if I do rubbish it isn't a problem. All the riders are really nice and all the staff easy to work with so hopefully it continues like this into the future.”
Yates says a Grand Tour debut is unlikely to come in the 2014 season and he is, at present, scheduled for a short-break after the British championships and Otley GP.
Continuing his development is at the forefront of his mind for the rest of the season.
“I guess you're always learning,” Yates said. “All this season has been a learning process and hopefully I can take all the experience and improve a little bit.
“It’s always going to be these first couple of years, a learning experience and I've learnt some things this year already and hopefully it continues.
“After this period now it kind of gets a bit slimmer because the team don't want to burn me out, I won't be doing any Grand Tours this year I don't think unless half the team gets injured.
“So far I'm happy with how the season has gone so I can't complain.”
British Cycling will be providing live updates from the championships at www.britishcycling.org.uk/nationalroadchampionshipslive.