Adam Yates, left, of UAE Team Emirates beat his twin brother Simon Yates, who came second. Alamy Stock Photo
first stage

Adam Yates wins Tour de France opener ahead of twin brother

British twins broke free at the top of the final climb.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 1st 2023, 5:23 PM

ADAM YATES OF Team UAE won the opening stage of the Tour de France in Bilbao on Saturday, out-sprinting his twin brother Simon Yates of Jayco.

The British twins had broken free at the top of the final climb.

Two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogacar came in third, 12 seconds adrift at the end of 182km circuit starting and ending in the Basque city.

Adam Yates, a newly-recruited teammate of Pogacar, took both the first yellow jersey for the overall lead and the first green jersey for sprint points.

He led an elite clique up the Sondika hill through a narrow passage formed by enthusiastic flag-waving fans.

Simon Yates, long considered the better of the British identical twins, is second in the overall standings, at eight seconds. Slovenian Pogacar is third at 18 sec. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard was another four seconds off the pace.

The race began under grey skies outside Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames stadium. The riders were cheered round the countryside circuit by enthusiastic crowds.

Spaniard Enric Mas of the EF team had hopes of contending for the final podium in Paris, instead he was the first rider to abandon after falling heavily with Ecuadorian teammate Richard Carapaz 10km from home.

The streets along the route were decked out with the Basque white, green and red flags as the Tour de France yellow was for once eclipsed.

Dane Vingegaard of Jumbo Visma led the peloton past the landmark Guggenheim museum before a breakaway formed as the peloton swept into pine and fir forests on the rolling green hills that mark this Atlantic coast region.

American rider Neilson Powless took the polka dot jersey for best climber after winning the race to the top of the penultimate hill.

Stage two is another hilly run through the Basque region from Vitoria to San Sebastian.

– © AFP 2023

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