News

Mitchelton-Scott to hunt stages at Tour, GC at Giro

Chavez, Mezgec, Adam Yates to snipe for stages at Tour, Simon Yates to challenge for pink jersey at Giro.

With the return to racing only two weeks away, Mitchelton-Scott revealed its long list and objectives Wednesday for this year’s Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

The Australian squad will be hunting stages at the Tour, August 29 to September 20, before focusing its efforts on a GC challenge at the Giro in October with Simon Yates.

The Tour team will be headlined by Adam Yates, Esteban Chaves, Luka Mezgec, Daryl Impey, and Mikel Nieve, with a total of 11 riders named on the long list. Team boss Matt White is looking to repeat the team’s success of last year, where they scooped up four stage wins with three different riders having failed to gain the momentum they hoped for in their GC challenge.

“After the success of last year, we want to chase stage wins at the Tour de France,” White said. “We rode an aggressive style of racing last year and we want to continue in that vein this year.

“The stacked GC field can affect stage opportunities, but it can also create opportunities. It’s no secret the strongest squads are Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma but once the GC is stabilized, there’ll still be opportunities because no one wants to control the Tour de France for 20 days; you just have to pick the right moments.”

Simon Yates will lead the team at his third-consecutive Giro, October 3-25, as the team had planned since before the coronavirus racing stop.

The 27-year-old claimed GC victory at the 2018 Vuelta a España but has so far failed to strike such a high note at the Giro. His first appearance at the race in 2018 saw him riding aggressively into the overall lead and hold the pink jersey for 13 days, only to see his hopes demolished by Chris Froome’s now-legendary ride over the Colle delle Finestre on stage 19. The Brit took two podium stage finishes at last year’s race to finish eighth overall.

The team has identified a strong long-list of riders to support Yates this fall that includes Cameron Mayer, Jack Haig, and American Brent Bookwalter, who is also listed for the Tour.

“For me, the Giro d’Italia is the most physically demanding grand tour, so having a strong team around you certainly makes a difference,” White said. “The team we will send will be a deep one and I’m confident Simon will have great support across all facets of racing.”

Like many WorldTour squads, Mitchelton-Scott will return to racing at the Vuelta a Burgos, and while it is yet to be confirmed, they are expected to send both the Yates brothers to headline the team. White hopes to use early-season racing to test riders’ legs and gauge form before finalizing any team selections.

“In general, we know the guys have been training well in this period so we know more or less where they are at, but now they need to convert that training into race condition with a limited race program,” White said. “It will be the equivalent of starting back racing after a major injury, with the lockdown period and different mental challenges that had to be dealt with.

“I am happy with where the guys are at currently, but we will make our final selection decisions based on how guys adapt back to competition.”

Tour de France long list

Jack Bauer
Sam Bewley
Brent Bookwalter
Esteban Chaves
Alex Edmondson
Tsgabu Grmay
Daryl Impey
Chris Juul-Jensen
Luka Mezgec
Mikel Nieve
Adam Yates

Giro d’Italia long list

Edoardo Affini
Brent Bookwalter
Jack Haig
Lucas Hamilton
Michael Hepburn
Damien Howson
Chris Juul-Jensen
Cameron Meyer
Nick Schultz
Simon Yates
Andrey Zeits