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Men’s cycling Simon Yates to use Tour as Olympic training

SIMON YATES has no plans to leave this year’s Tour de France early despite admitting it will make it difficult to adjust for the Olympic road race on Mount Fuji less than a week later.

Yates has made riding the Tour a major part of his preparations for the Tokyo Games, ruling out a bid for the yellow jersey to target individual stages and hone his form.

But with the Tour finishing in Paris on July 18 and the Olympic road race scheduled for July 24, Yates will have little time to shake off any jet lag and get used to the much more humid conditions in Japan.

“The plan at the minute is to do the full three weeks,” Yates said.

“It’s going to be difficult, just with the time difference and maybe the heat difference, but a lot of guys are in the same boat.

“Most of the guys are coming from the Tour de France so everybody is going to be in the same place, getting the same flights and arriving at the same time.

“We’ll just have to deal with it in the best way possible.”

Yates — who finished third in the Giro d’Italia last month — once again reiterated that he has no interest in the battle for yellow, with his stage-hunting approach designed with Tokyo in mind.

“To do the full three weeks [for the general classification] is very demanding on the body and there is not enough time to recover and back it up at the Olympics,” the Team BikeExchange rider said.

“It’s better to target a stage and then to take a few days off, maybe ride in with the grupetto, and do it again, to replicate a one-day race like the Olympics.”

Yates afforded himself one week’s holiday in Sardinia after the Giro finished on May 30 before returning to training at home in Andorra.

The Tour will visit principality at the end of the second week, one of the stages circled on Yates’s calendar — though the 28-year-old was giving little away in terms of his plans.

Asked if he would target the double ascent of Mont Ventoux on stage 11, Yates said: “It’s a very famous climb but I’ve actually never been or raced up it. I think we passed over it in Paris-Nice but not to the summit.

“It would be great to win that stage but there are a lot of stages I believe I can win. Going into the second rest day the finish in Andorra is very close to where I live so that would be a great stage to win.”

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