Simon Yates can learn to ‘stand on his own feet’ after the departure of his brother from Team BikeExchange, according to sports director Laurenzo Lapage.
Adam Yates left the Australian WorldTour team at the end of the season to join Ineos Grenadiers, while twin brother Simon remained to chase his own general classification ambitions.
As the 2021 Giro d’Italia approaches, Simon has his eye on the pink jersey once again, hoping for redemption after his heart-breaking near-miss in 2018.
Speaking ahead of the Giro, BikeExchanges DS Lapage told cycling website Wielerflits: “Normally I always saw Simon as a doubter, who took a few years to get started. Adam was less like that, he always went straight for it. Simon was even scared at times. But he had gained so much confidence in the run-up to that  Giro that he let himself be guided too much by his enthusiasm.”
Lapage added: “I never thought they would leave each other, I have to say that.
“I think that Simon can now learn to stand on his own two feet more and will therefore less shadow his brother. That will please him.”
The British pair, now 28 years old, both started their WorldTour careers with BikeExchange, then Orica GreenEdge, back in 2014, each achieving their own successes.
Simon has since won the Vuelta a España, Tirreno-Adriatico, stages of both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, and most recently the 2021 Tour of the Alps, while Adam has a collection of his own stage race victories, incuding the 2021 Volta a Catalunya with Ineos.
Speaking ahead of the 2021 Giro, Simon said: “The Giro d’Italia is a race that I really enjoy. I hope this year I can have clear run and a good go at fighting for the win and we have a very strong team to try to do that.
“This year the route looks very hard, of course there are some differences to the previous years that I have raced at the Giro d’Italia. It is book-ended with two time trials and time trials are not my speciality, so we will try to limit the losses there.”
Head sports director at BikeExchange said: “There’s no surprise that we have put a lot of effort into preparing for this year’s Giro d’Italia, Simon is one of the favourites going into the race and we are relishing the challenge. We have built a team around him which has a very good balance of experience and youth and I know the entire team is excited about going up against the best riders in the world as we support our leader to the maximum in this year’s edition.”
Team BikeExchange squad for the Giro d’Italia 2021
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Cameron Meyer (AUS)
Mikel Nieve (SPA)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Simon Yates (GBr)