Tour de France: Adam Yates beats brother to take stage 1 victory and yellow jersey

Enric Mas crashes out as Pogačar gains four seconds over Vingegaard on an epic finish at the Tour

Clock10:53, Saturday 1st July 2023
Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 1 of the Tour de France

© Velo Collection (TDW) /Getty Images

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 1 of the Tour de France

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) took an emphatic win on stage 1 of the Tour de France after dropping his brother and breakaway companion on the final drag to the line to claim the victory and the first yellow jersey on this year’s race.

On an epic day of racing in the Basque Country that saw Enric Mas (Movistar Team) crash out and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) go head-to-head on the Côte de Pike, it was the Yates brothers who eventually forged clear after the final climb.

Although from rival teams, and with differing aims in the race the pair worked together right until the last few hundred metres, despite a chase from Jumbo-Visma in the closing stages. On the long drag towards the line it was Adam Yates who still had the legs to surge clear, with his brother and former teammate forced to settle for second on the day.

The day ended with even more success for UAE Team Emirates with Pogačar winning the sprint for third at 12 seconds. However, the stage and the first yellow jersey belonged to the Slovenian’s teammate, who has now worn the leader’s jersey on two separate occasions during his career. 

“Honestly I don't even know what to say,” a delighted Adam Yates said at the finish.

“We tried to set the climb up for Tadej and he attacked but there was a headwind on the descent. I tried my best and my brother came across to me and we started to work together. I didn't know if i should work so I asked on the radio and they gave me the all clear.

“I knew that we were both going well, I speak to him everyday so to share that experience with him is really nice. I just wish he would have pulled a bit easier because he almost dropped me at one moment. I’m just super happy. I had the yellow hersey a few years ago but I just want to keep my feet on the ground. We're here for Tadej and he’s the boss, and I’m sure he’s going to show that. I’m all for Tadej, 100% for Tadej.”

Bilbao welcomes Tour de France

The finale of an explosive stage into Bilbao saw both Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates look to land an early blow in this year’s race with aggressive racing over the penultimate climb of the Côte de Vivero and the short but daunting ascent of the Côte de Pike.

In fact there was little respite throughout the stage with a five man break of Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny) and Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa Samsic) and Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché - Circus - Wanty) given little leeway after they escaped during the opening kilometres outside of Bilbao.

The leaders barely managed to build up a lead close to two minutes with several teams, including Alpecin, Soudal QuickStep, and Jumbo-Visma marshalling the front of proceedings. Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and Tim Declercq (Soudal Quick-Step) were especially effective in holding the five-rider break in check and with 75km to go on the stage the escape group only had 20 seconds on the peloton. 

Through every town and village, fans flocked to see the race, with Gerinka, the hometown of Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) filled with scores of spectators. While those by the roadside had time to soak in the atmosphere the same couldn’t be said for the day’s early break. Despite maintaining cordial relations for most of the stage fractures began to show and tempers flared before the peloton finally pounced with 50km to go.

The Col de Morga was taken in a rapid procession before Jumbo-Visma turned the screw on the lower slopes of the Côte de Vivero. The second category climb saw UAE then set a blistering pace with Mikkel Bjerg lining out the bunch and ensuring that the pure sprinters were dispatched with. When he pulled over it was Dylan van Baarle’s turn to set the pace and the former Paris-Roubaix winner put down such a tempo that Wout Poels and several established climbers were all forced to sit up.

Neilson Powless (EF-Education EasyPost) won the sprint to the top of the climb to take the KOM jersey for stage 2 but on the rapid descent the American’s teammate Richard Carapaz hit the deck alongside Mas with 22km to go.

Mas looked the worst of the pair, clutching his right arm and shoulder as the medics arrived on the scene. He would later leave the race in an ambulance. Carapaz’ Tour also looked over when he sat down on the ground with both knees bloodied but he stood, took a new bike and grimaced his way to the finish - his overall dreams finished but his place in the Tour de France hanging by a thread. 

On the final climb a flurry of riders hit the front but it was Adam Yates who did the most damage, pulling his leader, Vingegaard and Victor Lafay (Cofidis) with him. The gap looked closeable, even when Pogačar stamped on the pedals but it was Lafay who looked the most comfortable as the summit closed in and Yates was distanced. 

Over the top several riders managed to close the gap to the trio, with Vingegaard clearly unwilling to help his main rival set the pace. The Yates brothers moved clear with just over 8km to go, and the pair pushed their advantage to 19 seconds before eventually deciding the first stage and the first yellow jersey of the 2023 Tour de France.

In the overall standings Adam Yates leads his brother by eight seconds with Pogačar a further ten seconds in arrears. The Slovenian has a four second advantage over Vingegaard courtesy of his time bonus for finishing third on the stage.

Race Results


gb flag


UAE Team Emirates

4H 22' 49"


gb flag


Team Jayco-AlUla

+ 4"


si flag


UAE Team Emirates

+ 12"


fr flag

PINOT Thibaut




ca flag

WOODS Michael

Israel-Premier Tech



fr flag

LAFAY Victor




au flag





dk flag





dk flag





fr flag




Provided by FirstCycling

Major Races

See All

29 Jun - 21 Jul

fr flag

Tour de France


12 Aug - 18 Aug

fr flag

Tour de France Femmes


4 May - 26 May

it flag

Giro d'Italia


28 Apr - 5 May

es flag

Vuelta España Femenina


Provided by FirstCycling

Related Content

Link to GCN’s Tour de France predictions
Jonas Vingegaard returns to the Tour de France as defending champion

GCN’s Tour de France predictions

GCN’s editorial team nail their colours to the mast and predict the outcome of this year’s Tour de France

Link to Tour de France: unchained and explained
Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard exiting the podium at the end of the 2022 Tour de France

Tour de France: unchained and explained

Netflix got you curious? Here is what you need to know before watching the 2023 Tour de France live

Link to Watch: Tour de France stage 1 highlights
YouTube video 9aexj2462yw

Watch: Tour de France stage 1 highlights

The Yates twins go on the rampage in the Basque Country in a thrilling opening stage

Link to Romain Bardet: The Tour de France is just another race for me
Romain Bardet competes at the 2022 Tour de France

Romain Bardet: The Tour de France is just another race for me

Relaxed French rider reflects on improvements since joining dsm-firmenich and looks ahead to the coming battles with Pogačar and Vingegaard

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox