La Côte Picarde | UCI under 23 Nations' Cup
Published: 10 April 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Great Britain’s Simon Yates took an impressive third place at La Côte Picarde as the UCI under 23 Nations’ Cup continued in northern France.
Yates was involved in a five-man sprint finish at Mers-les-Bains after attacking on the first climb of four on the finishing circuit of the 172.2-kilometre course.
The 20-year-old British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider had opened up a gap but was brought back on the final Bellvue ascent by eventual winner Caleb Ewan (Australia), Belgian Sean De Bie, Dane Kristian Haugaard Jensen and Slovenian Jan Polanc for the five to contest the podium spots.
The race, coming after Saturday’s Tour of Flanders under 23 edition, departed Quend and it was Jon Dibben involved in the first break of the day, a seven man group which was reeled in before a second break totalling twenty riders attacked the bunch.
With the British six – including Owain Doull, Joe Kelly, George Atkins and Ali Slater in addition to Dibben and Yates – missing the move, they worked with Australia to bring the race back together.
There was still time for one more group to attempt to escape, again including Dibben, but it was in vain as the bunch entered the concluding circuit as one.
Yates then went on the assault and stayed away for three of the four climbs before being reigned in but still had the energy to deliver an impressive sprint to make the podium.
Great Britain under 23 team manager Keith Lambert was pleased with the team’s efforts after their second race in five days.
“They missed the move and that caused them to do an awful lot of chasing for a long time,” Lambert said.
“That takes half the team out of the race after that. The idea was to be strong for Yates at the finish so they could help him. He had to do it on his own but he did very well. They retrieved the situation, they made a mistake but atoned for it.
“By the time they got to the finishing circuit the fact they had worked so hard it was their day over really so it was down to Yates to make the move on the finishing circuit. It was such a fast race, ahead of schedule all day.
“You could see that the desire and ability was there and they showed it today.”
The group will continue their Nations’ Cup campaign on Saturday in the ZLM tour in the Netherlands.
1. Caleb Ewan
2. Sean De Bie
3. Simon Yates