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Grace Brown and Sarah Roy renew with Mitchelton-Scott

With the departure of superstar Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten for Movistar, the Aussie team keeps key riders in its lineup to continue winning ways.

Australian cyclists Grace Brown and Sarah Roy have recommitted to team Mitchelton-Scott through the end of the 2021 season, the team indicated in an announcement Friday. The two will continue on with the Australian-registered team which has already re-secured Jess Allen and Lucy Kennedy for the coming year.

As Annemiek van Vleuten leaves for Movistar, Mitchelton-Scott looks to retain its core of accomplished Australian riders.

Grace Brown‘s strengths lie in time trialing and road racing — she’s won national championships in both — and she managed to win a stage at the 2020 Tour Down Under, just weeks after first signing with the team. Brown continued to have a strong season following the COVID-19-forced restart, with a fifth at the UCI world road championships time trial, and also a second place at Liège–Bastogne–Liège.

Mitchelton-Scott sport director Martin Vestby said of the specialist against the clock, “It’s not a surprise for us to see that she has performed in the last races. We have seen her strength both as a time trial rider and as a classics rider but with some more experience and some more opportunities, she has grabbed that with both hands. When you start to perform well, you crack the code of how to race these races and how to use your strengths and experiences in the best way.”

“I am really excited for next year, with a few results under my belt towards the end of this season, it’s shaping next year up to be pretty exciting. I can see myself being a leader in a few races and that’s going to be cool,” Brown said. “It’s been really fun stepping up this year and with the change in our team dynamic moving forward it’s going to be really open. We will see a lot of us stepping up and I’m looking forward to that environment,” added the 28-year-old.

Sarah Roy, 34, has been with Mitchelton-Scott since 2016 and is an experienced and accomplished one-day racer. After the pause in the 2020 season, Roy came back with a fourth-place at Gent Wevelgem, a fourth-place at De Panne, and a fifth-place at the Tour of Flanders.

Lucy Kennedy leads Lizzy Deignan and teammate Annemiek van Vleuten during the 32nd Women WT Emakumeen, in 2019. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

With the experience and maturity of a seasoned racer, Roy indicates she’ll continue on in a supporting role with the team, but not shy away from opportunities for individual success when presented.

“I have almost identified myself as a worker, but now I think it’s a good time for my career to take a bit of a step up and reward myself, and the people who have helped me get to where I am now, with some different types of results,” she said. “Over the years I have really proven myself as a solid teammate, I have always given 100 percent to my team and my leaders and I think it’s really nice to look into the future a little bit and see more opportunities for myself.”

Jess Allen has also been with Mitchelton-Scott since 2016, and notes the coming changes to the team’s dynamic, with the influx of new riders, while other veterans move on.

“I am super excited, I have spent the last four seasons with Mitchelton-Scott so I am more than happy here. I feel like I am developing well here and am looking forward to next year,” said Allen, a veteran of four years with Mitchelton-Scott. “We’re going to have quite a different group of people, a few different cultures and nationalities which will make it quite exciting. I’m looking forward to meeting these new girls and winning a lot of bike races with the team.”

Lucy Kennedy will be going into her third season with Mitchelton-Scott, and the 32-year-old. Kennedy successfully defended her Jayco Herald Sun Tour title in February and will step into a team leadership role for the coming season.

“2021 brings the biggest changes within the team since I’ve been a part of it. I think the dynamic at races will be quite different and present more chances for more riders. I look forward to supporting many of my teammates to chase their opportunities as well as capitalizing on my own. It feels quite liberating.”

Four new riders come on board for 2021, including Urška Žigart, Teniel Campbell, Arianna Fidanza, and Ane Santesteban.

And, also new for the team beginning in 2021 is the partnership with bike brand Binachi.