Adam and Simon Yates will ride on with Mitchelton-Scott for a further two seasons, the team announced on Monday.
The British twins, who have each won the white jersey at the Tour de France, were set to hit the transfer market this August with contracts that expired at the end of 2018. Instead, Mitchelton moved to lock up their talents through the 2020 season, despite what the team’s press release called “significant interest from other outfits.”
It’s the latest development in the team’s long-term evolution from a squad that hunted stages and one-day victories into a perennial grand tour contender.
“We are proud of what we have achieved so far and we have an unwavering belief in these two young men. With their returned faith, we know even bigger things are on the horizon,” said sport director Matt White.
“Along with Esteban Chaves, we have three of the most promising talents of this generation. That is a very exciting prospect for the team moving forward.”
Simon Yates counts top-10s at the Tour and Vuelta a España on his palmares along with several grand tour stage victories. He won three stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia and looked primed to seal the overall victory until crumbling on the penultimate mountain stage and tumbling out of the top 10.
Adam Yates rode to fourth overall at the 2016 Tour and ninth at the 2017 Giro. His 2018 season has been a mixed bag, seeing him deliver stage wins and strong GC showings in one-week races but an underwhelming ride at the Tour. Two weeks into the race, he has opted to hunt for stage wins after falling out of GC contention in the Alps.
The 25-year-old duo seems likely to feature in three-week races for years to come, giving Mitchelton plenty of incentive to make a long-term commitment to keeping both of them — even if that means moving on from promising sprinter Caleb Ewan. After announcing over the winter that Ewan would make his Tour debut this summer, the team changed tack in the weeks before the race and decided to leave him home instead, bringing a fully GC-focused squad to France. Ewan is rumored to be headed to Lotto-Soudal for 2019.
Even with Ewan on his way out the door, however, Mitchelton still has quite a few cooks in the kitchen, with three GC headliners on one team. It would have been hard to blame either one or both of the Yates brothers for spicing up the transfer market waters as well, but they decided to stay on with the Australian team for at least a few more grand tour campaigns.
“As I have said all along, this was never a decision about money, this is about winning bike races,” Simon said.
“This team has believed in us from the beginning and given us opportunities to ride as leaders in key races from a young age.”
Adam Yates agreed.
“It’s the best option, not just for me but for Simon,” he said.
“We’ve been with the team from the beginning, we’ve had great success and the team has supported us every step of the way so there’s no reason to change and we are both really happy to stay.”