ADAM Yates is set to be Ineos Grenadiers’ designated leader at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.

The Bury cycling star is for the first time this season racing in a different team to his twin brother Simon, who has stuck with the Australian outfit Team BikeExchange, formerly Mitchelton–Scott.

Adam though has linked up with Sir Dave Brailsford’s star-studded line-up and is set to be backed to the hilt for one of 2021’s major races.

Unveiling his plans for the year, Brailsford has earmarked Geraint Thomas as team leader for the Tour de France, with Egan Bernal likely to take the role at the Giro d’Italia before Adam Yates then comes to the fore in Spain in August and September.

Plans remain up in the air, but Brailsford is excited about what the year could hold, bolstered by his new recruit who arrives at the former Team Sky with big ambitions.

“I’m really pleased about this because, as a team over the years, we’ve very much got to the end of July and quite often dropped off the edge of a cliff, because we focus so much on building up to July,” Brailsford said.

“Adam has come here to perform. He wants to take a step up and we want to help him do that.

“To have Adam totally focused on the Vuelta is pretty exciting from our point of view.

“A lot of the other guys will double up into the Vuelta, but we’ll confirm that when we get closer and see how they come out of the Giro.”

Adam Yates finished ninth in last year’s Tour de France, enjoying a stint in the iconic yellow jersey after a strong start to cycling’s most famous race.

Simon, the winner of the Vuelta in 2018, is set to be on the start line of both the Giro and the Tour although it remains undecided which one he will focus his general classification efforts on.

He will then move onto the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics which are set to take place in at the end of July and start of August.