The Aussie-based squad confirmed its “Tour Eight” on Thursday, headlined by Esteban Chaves, Adam Yates, Luka Mezgec, Daryl Impey and Mikel Nieve. Chris Juul-Jensen, Jack Bauer, and Sam Bewley round out the team. American Brent Bookwalter, on the long list, was not selected.
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“One thing for sure is we won’t be leaving France without giving our all and making our fans and sponsors proud of the way we take on the world,” said team director Matt White.
With both climbing talents and opportunistic rouleurs such as Impey and Mezgec, the team has options all over the race’s three weeks. Last year, Mitchelton-Scott netted four stage wins at the Tour after their GC hopes tumbled, and White is hoping for more stage success at this year’s race, set to start August 29 in Nice.
“Last year was an incredible race for the team and we will continue in the same vein of targeting stage wins throughout,” White said.
“This year has not been a normal one by any stretch of the imagination, but the team is focused and ready for the challenge,” he said. “We are very happy with the mix of experience and talent we have available for this year’s race – this is a very complete group across all terrains.”
Chaves provides the team a strong contender for the mountain-packed parcours, and after struggling through his 2017 debut, is returning to the race off the back of a string of solid August performances.
“Going back to the Tour de France is really special,” Chaves said. “I am going back to respect it because my last and unique experience wasn’t that great, but I feel that this year is the right time to go back and try my best again. I want to be part of the race and to play an important role for the team.
“This will not be like last time, when I just survived to the finish, I want to be at the front and be an important part of the race.”
South African veteran Impey, who took a stage last year, will captain the team in what will be his last Tour for the team before moving to Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021.
“A stage win for the team would definitely make it successful and I would love to be the one who does it,” Impey said. “Last year was hugely successful and will be difficult to repeat, but we will certainly be going all out to achieve that.”
Simon Yates has been left off the team as he is focusing his energies on the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia in October. The Brit renewed his contract with Mitchelton-Scott through 2022 earlier this week. There has been no confirmation of his twin brother Adam doing likewise, with speculation growing that the 28-year-old has been linked to a move to Ineos.
Mitchelton-Scott for Tour de France:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Esteban Chaves (COL)
Daryl Impey (RSA)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Mikel Nieve (ESP)
Adam Yates (GBR)