SIMON Yates will line up for the start of the Tour de France on Saturday hunting stage victories.

The Bury star is fresh from finishing third at the Giro d’Italia but is part of the Team BikeExchange squad for the world’s most iconic race with a different agenda. Yates will look to pick up some marquee wins with less concern as to his overall placing in the general classification and the battle for the yellow


After the Tour, all eyes will then be on the Tokyo Olympics with Simon and brother Adam both part of a four-man Great Britain team for the men’s road race.

The twins will be joined by Adam’s Ineos Grenadiers team-mates Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Ahead of the opening stage of the Tour in Brest, Simon’s Team BikeExchange made it clear he was part of a “powerful trio of opportunists” with Michael Matthews and Esteban Chaves.

Debutant Lucas Hamilton will be the squad’s designated challenger in the general classification as he looks to gain more big-race experience.

“We are coming into this year’s Tour de France really motivated after a fantastic podium at Giro d’Italia with Simon Yates,” said general manager Brett Copeland.

“We have worked closely together with our team owner Gerry Ryan and Team BikeExchange’s technical staff and coaches to select the most competitive line-up of riders for this year’s edition.

“It has not been an easy task by any means to make the final selection due to us having many riders in great condition at the moment, but we are confident in the process that we have followed.

“Our goals and ambitions are different to that of the recent Giro d’Italia where we will be mostly concentrated in two areas; namely stage wins and experience for the younger riders. We are also very excited to have a strong presence of Australian riders at this year’s edition and as always, we guarantee some very aggressive and exciting racing from Team BikeExchange for all our fans.”

Head sport director Matt White added: “We have assembled a very well-balanced unit for this year’s TDF.

“The group has multiple options as we go after stage wins across the entire three-weeks.

“Our elite climbing unit is led by Simon Yates who is looking to add more stage wins to his tally and Esteban Chaves who has won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España and is aiming to add wins at the TDF to his resume.

“Finally, we have our only Tour de France debutant in Lucas Hamilton who has had a very consistent year so far and he will be getting our full support as he rides for GC.”

It will be Yates’ fifth Tour de France having previously won the young rider classification in 2017 and two stages in 2019.