Road

Mitchelton-Scott satisfied with its 2020 performances

Australian team made most of opportunities of pandemic-shortened season.

Mitchelton-Scott made the most of the abbreviated 2020 racing season across its men’s and women’s teams in a year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic that forced scores of races to be canceled and postponed.

On the men’s side, the team claimed wins with 11 different riders, highlighted by a team record-equaling four days in the Tour de France yellow jersey. Seeing only 132 race days completed compared to 235 days in 2019, the Australian outfit picked up 16 UCI victories in seven different countries, five at the WorldTour level.

“The Tour de France is the biggest event on our very global calendar, so what we did there, wearing the yellow jersey, was definitely a highlight,” said men’s sport director Matt White. “We probably planned on a few more wins but to walk away with 16 in the season we had is still a good achievement. Our biggest disappointment was the Giro d’Italia; where we didn’t get a chance to show what we were prepared to do.”

The women’s team took full advantage of the condensed calendar that included just 34 race days due to the COVID-19 pandemic and picked off 10 UCI race wins, 10 podium places, and 11 top-five finishes.

“I think in a lot of ways the season has been successful, we had a lot of wins and it’s also nice to see that we are winning with more riders,” said women’s sport director Martin Vestby. “Of course, there were some ups and downs like every year, some good and bad things, but mostly we had a lot of positives coming out of this year.”

The team endured a rough patch behind the scenes in 2020, with an aborted takeover attempt from a Spanish sponsor and a reduction of payroll for riders and staff. Mitchelton-Scott will see big changes for 2021 following the commitment from longtime owner Gerry Ryan, who will back the team through at least 2022. Both teams will ride Bianche bikes on a multi-year deal starting in 2021.

The women’s team sees the departure of Dutch star Annemiek Van Vleuten to Movistar, with the retirement of Gracie Elvin. Four new riders come on board for 2021, including Urška Žigart, Teniel Campbell, Arianna Fidanza, and Ane Santesteban.

Fiver riders leave on the men’s side, with Adam Yates heading to Ineos Grenadiers, Jack Haig to Bahrain-McLaren, and Daryl Impey to Israel Start-Up Nation. Swiss veteran Michael Albasini retired. New arrivals include Michael Matthews, Tanel Kangert, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, and Kevin Colleoni.