British rider Adam Yates placed seventh and sixth behind double winner Petr Vakoc in the Classic Sud Ardeche and La Drome races in France over the weekend

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) has kicked off his European 2016 campaign with two solid top 10 results in France over the weekend. Yates placed seventh in the Classic Sud Ardeche on Saturday and then sixth in Sunday’s La Drome Classic.

The 23-year-old Briton managed to get into the thick of the racing on both days, but on each occasion Czech rider Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep) got the better of everyone else to complete a double victory. Yates’s twin brother and team-mate Simon also took part in both races, finishing 45th and 20th.

Both of the UCI 1.1-ranked one-day races feature action over tough, rolling terrain in the Ardeche region and traditionally signal the start of racing in France, providing an alternative to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne running over the same two days in Belgium.

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“We raced solidly as a team and Adam was unfortunate again today not to make it onto the podium,” said Orica-GreenEdge Sports Director Dave McPartland after Sunday’s La Drome.

“It was another fast and quite stressful start to the race on small roads which settled down once the break had gotten away. The peloton sat on for the first 100 kilometres or so and the race really got going for us with about 50 kilometres to go.


Watch: Yates vs Yates


“We set Adam up really well going into the final climb and he was in a strong position, but just got edged out on the slight to descent to the finish line.”

Both of the Yates brothers are planning on taking part in the 2016 Tour de France, where they hope to continue their upward trajectory in the professional ranks. Last year, Adam won the Clasica de San Sebastian and Simon was fifth overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné and sixth overall in the Tour de Romandie.