Sean Yates, one of the UK’s top professionals and now a sports director with Astana, has finally hung up his racing wheels.
Yates, who was advised early in 2007 to stop racing due to heart problems, still managed to turn in a respectable time of 22’50 to win Southborough Wheelers’ New Year’s Day 10 mile time trial, held on an out and back course between Bethersden and Ashford.
Organiser Alan Oakley told BikeRadar that 70 riders started, including Sean’s younger brother Christian. But he had the misfortune to puncture just before the start and could only finish third.
The win was an apt way for Sean Yates to finish his career, as 30 years ago this event was one of the first he took part in. He won that one too, but in a faster time of 21’38.
After collecting his prize, a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Yates was quoted as saying in his typical dry style, “If I keep progressing like this I might well turn pro one day”. And after drinking half the bottle, he elaborated, “This cycling lark is piss easy.”
Joking aside, 47 year-old did say it would be his last race. He will now concentrate on his duties as director of the revamped Astana team.