British first-year pro Simon Yates placed 12th in the Tour of the Basque Country for Orica-GreenEdge

Simon Yates has quickly created a good impression in his first year riding as a professional with Orica-GreenEdge, placing 12th overall in the Tour of the Basque Country last week.

“My job was to help Pieter Weening, but he just came off a training camp and took a few days to get into it,” Yates told Cycling Weekly. “So he lost his overall chances, but straight away, he switched and helped me. That’s the good thing about this team, you help out and you get helped back.”

Yates spoke this morning in Lueven’s market square ahead of the Brabantse Pijl, where he will work for Michael Matthews, Daryl Impey and Simon Gerrans. He also races the Flèche Wallonne classic next Wednesday.

He had the same helper role in the Basque Country. The team began with the goal to win with either Gerrans or Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews.

<a href=”http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/cycle-sport-june-now-119973″>>>>Read our exclusive interview with Adam and Simon Yates in the latest Cycle Sport</a>

“I wasn’t aiming for a specific result, we were targeting stage wins. We got the stage win with Bling, anything after that was a bonus,” Yates said. He placed 3-17 minutes behind winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

“I wasn’t expecting too much going into it. So, I was pretty happy with the overall result.”

Yates’ results last year earned him a contract with the Australian team. He won two stages in the Tour de L’Avenir and one stage and the young rider classification in the Tour of Britain.

In Orica’s blue and white colours, Yates already raced Paris-Nice, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Basque Country. After Flèche Wallonne, he will race the Tour of California and the Tour of Turkey stage races.

“Basque Country was hard race, especially the last road stage. That was one of the hardest races I’ve done, full-gas all day. It was just an experience for me, something I can use for the future,” Yates said.

“I haven’t set many goals for myself, it’s just about helping the team. We have some big riders in this team. As long as I can help out and do a good job for them, I’m happy.”

Simon Yates, Tour of the Basque Country 2014

Simon Yates, Tour of the Basque Country 2014