SIMON Yates finished 13th overall in the Criterium du Dauphine as the Bury-born rider stepped up his preparation for next month's Tour de France.

The 24-year-old honorary Bury Clarion member was 13th in the final mountain stage of the race, which was won by Astana's Jakob Fuglsang, who also claimed overall victory.

Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome was gunning for his fourth Criterium du Dauphine title, but in the end had to settle for fourth overall.

The countdown now begins in earnest for this year's Tour de France, as Yates prepares for his second crack at cycling's biggest race.

“Some guys came here still with some work to do ahead of the Tour de France,” said Laurenzo Lapage, associate sports director of Yates's Orica-Scott team.

“That’s no a secret, we have had some injuries and guys coming back after a period of no racing.

“It was our main objective in coming here and we can say that all of our riders have come out of the Dauphine better than they came in and that’s the most important thing.

“There is still some work to do but we are right on schedule. Everyone can go home from here knowing they did the work they had to do.

“We still have three weeks until the Tour de France starts and six weeks until the end of the Tour.

"The first 10 days of the Tour can be used to get the final percentage for the climbers in our team.”

Yates will be hoping to repeat the feat of his twin brother Adam, who claimed the white jersey as the race's best young rider last year.