Tour de France: Simon Yates claims maiden stage win

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Yates (centre) has stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana and now the Tour de France

Britain’s Simon Yates claimed his maiden Tour de France stage win with a shrewd victory on stage 12.

Yates outsprinted Pello Bilbao and Gregor Muhlberger in a technical finish in Bagneres-de-Bigorre after the trio had broken clear with 32km remaining.

He has now won stages at all three Grand Tours, having previously won at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey as he finished in the peloton, with Geraint Thomas second.

Defending champion Thomas is 72 seconds behind Alaphilippe but will have the opportunity to reduce that deficit in Friday’s 27km time trial in Pau.

“I am very proud,” said Yates. “Hopefully there is more to come.”

Vuelta champion Yates is riding the Tour to help his twin brother Adam’s general classification ambitions.

However, after losing more than an hour in the overall standings during the first 10 stages the Mitchelton-Scott rider took his chance to claim individual glory.

“I’ve been saving energy until we got here in the mountains and this was the first chance to try something,” Yates added.

“Normally I would be back helping Adam but I had my own chance and grabbed it with both hands.”

Education First’s Simon Clarke led solo on the final climb of the day, La Hourquette d’Ancizan, before he was reeled in by Yates’ team-mate Matteo Trentin within 5km of the summit.

Yates bridged across with a…



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