2018 Season Wrap: First Grand Tour victory amongst Mitchelton-SCOTT’s record 38-win season in 2018Tue 23 Oct 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT men wrapped up the 2018 season in China and Japan over the weekend with a record 38 victories, including the outfit’s first ever men’s Grand Tour triumph.
The 38 UCI victories included 17 WorldTour wins and six Grand Tour stages and is three more than the Australian team’s previous win record of 35 in 2014.
Finishing the year in equal-best position of fifth in the UCI WorldTour team rankings (equal with 2016 and 2014), the season has been rated as good as ever for Mitchelton-SCOTT, whose victory at the Vuelta a Espana officially saw their transition to a general classification team complete.
Shayne Bannan – General Manager:
“This year has been extremely satisfying for us as an organisation, of course because of the amazing results our riders have achieved but just as much to see the general progression of the entire team.
“On and off the bike we have used the learnings of our previous seasons and new developments and structures to enable an environment where our riders have a greater chance of succeeding. Our record this season is the result of the hard work by everyone in this organisation for many years now.
“We have made no secret of our switch towards a general classification focus and our burning desire to win a Grand Tour and to achieve that this season at the Vuelta a Espana, with our team owner Gerry Ryan there to enjoy, was something this organisation will never forget.
“But it was not just in Spain where this team made me proud. In Australia, in Italy at the Giro d’Italia, the entire Hammer Series and stage races across the calendar; our riders rode smartly, aggressively and cohesively as a unit. Thank you to them for their never-wavering commitment on the road, no matter the race.
“We also want to say a big thank you to our sponsors and fans who continue to believe in our vision. Results don’t come easily at the best of times, but when you change focus and commit to building a new target from the base up, it takes a lot of hard work, persistence and, of course, time. But, it makes the results even more satisfying and we thank you for keeping faith alongside us.”
We take a look back at some highlights of the 2018 season:
‘Home’ kick start:
The coveted green and gold jersey returned to Mitchelton-SCOTT for the first time since 2014 when Alexander Edmondson claimed a surprise victory at the Australian championships to kick off the 2018 season.
The momentum continued in Adelaide where consistency saw Daryl Impey become the first South African to win the Tour Down Under and Caleb Ewan took a stage win as Mitchelton-SCOTT finished in the top-three every day.
After a third place for Impey at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Mitchelton-SCOTT took a clean-sweep of the overall podium at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with Esteban Chaves winning ahead of teammates Cameron Meyer and Damien Howson.
Five stages and 13 days in pink at aggressive Giro:
With a plan to be aggressive from the start, Mitchelton-SCOTT animated the first two weeks of the Giro d’Italia unlike any Grand Tour approach in recent history and, despite highs and lows, walked away with one of the best performances of the team’s history.
The team finished without an overall result but with five stage wins, including a brilliant 1-2 with Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates on stage six, three stage wins to Yates whilst he spent 13 days in the leader’s Maglia Rosa jersey, and a character building stage 20 victory to Mikel Nieve.
A history-making Vuelta a Espana:
A conscious switch in approach with their 2014 recruitment, Mitchelton-SCOTT’s ambitious general classification focus hit the jackpot at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.
With the success and lessons of the Giro d’Italia still in mind, Mitchelton-SCOTT and leader Simon Yates approached the final Grand Tour of the season with ‘conservative flair’ as they held back Yates and some of his teammates for the three-week journey.
With a stage win on the way, the result made history as the first Grand Tour victory for Yates, and the first for an Australian-owned team.
The ‘GC’ focus:
Mitchelton-SCOTT also recorded top-five overall results at eight WorldTour stage races throughout the 2018 season.
Simon Yates contributed to four of them, including the Vuelta a Espana triumph, second place at Pairs-Nice and Tour of Pologne and fourth at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, whilst brother Adam Yates took second place at Criterium du Dauphine, fourth at the Tour of California and fifth at Tirreno-Adriatico. South African Daryl Impey kicked things off with the Tour Down Under victory in January.
Inaugural Hammer Series Champions:
As it quickly grows momentum on the racing calendar, Mitchelton-SCOTT fully committed to the potential of the Hammer Series and came out with just rewards.
The concept, featuring Sprint, Climb and Chase events, is designed for the fans and the Australian team were devoted to putting on a show.
A clean sweep at Hammer Stavanger to kick off the series, two out of three stage wins on the way to second place at Hammer Sportzone Limburg and one out of two stages on the way to victory at Hammer Hong Kong, Mitchelton-SCOTT finished the season as the inaugural champions of the three-race Hammer Series in 2018.
Mitchelton-SCOTT Men – 2018 UCI Victories:
- National Championships Australia – Road Race: Alexander Edmondson
- Tour Down Under – Stage 2: Caleb Ewan
- Tour Down Under – Overall: Daryl Impey
- Herald Sun Tour – Stage 3: Esteban Chaves
- Herald Sun Tour – Overall: Esteban Chaves
- National Championships South Africa – Time Trial: Daryl Impey
- National Championships South Africa – Road Race: Daryl Impey
- Clasica de Almeria: Caleb Ewan
- Paris-Nice – Stage 7: Simon Yates
- Tirreno-Adriatico – Stage 5: Adam Yates
- Volta Ciclista a Catalunya – Stage 7: Simon Yates
- Giro d’Italia – Stage 6: Esteban Chaves
- Giro d’Italia – Stage 9: Simon Yates
- Giro d’Italia – Stage 11: Simon Yates
- Giro d’Italia – Stage 15 Simon Yates
- Tour des Fjords – Stage 2: Michael Albasini
- Tour des Fjords – Overall: Michael Albasini
- Hammer Stavenger – Sprint: Team
- Hammer Stavenger – Climb: Team
- Giro d’Italia – Stage 20: Mikel Nieve
- Hammer Stavenger – Chase: Team
- Hammer Stavenger – Overall: Team
- Hammer Sportzone Limburg – Climb: Team
- Hammer Sportzone Limburg – Chase: Team
- Criterium du Dauphine – Stage 1: Daryl Impey
- Criterium du Dauphine – Stage 7: Adam Yates
- Tour de Suisse – Stage 4: Chris Juul-Jensen
- National Championships Canada – Time Trial: Svein Tuft
- Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika – Robert Power
- Tour de Pologne – Stage 7: Simon Yates
- Tour of Britain – Stage 2: Cameron Meyer
- La Vuelta a Espana – Stage 14: Simon Yates
- Tour of Britain – Stage 8: Caleb Ewan
- La Vuelta a Espana – Overall: Simon Yates
- Hammer Hong Kong – Sprint: Team
- Hammer Hong Kong – Overall: Team
- Tour of Guangxi – Stage 5: Matteo Trentin
- Japan Cup Cycle – Road Race: Robert Power
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.