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Yates unsure of Vuelta defence

Simon Yates sprays champagne after winning the 2018 Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates says he is undecided about whether to defend his title in 2019.

Organisers unveiled the full details of the 3,272km route in Alicante on Wednesday, including 59 climbs; 13 more than in this year’s race.

Yates, 26, has already committed to building his season around the Giro d’Italia in May, where he hopes to challenge again having spent almost two weeks in pink before surrendering the jersey to Chris Froome on stage 19.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider will then consider the Vuelta depending on his condition.

Asked if the course suited him, Yates said: “I think so. Of course with a team time trial at the start we have a very strong team there, and the stage to Andorra I know those roads very well which we already saw this year.

“My goal is the Giro. I will do everything for that and after that we will plan the rest of the year. I like the Vuelta and if the sensations are good then I can return.”

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