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Equal record in yellow & maiden victories highlight a unique 2020 season for Mitchelton-SCOTT men

Thu 12 Nov 2020

Mitchleton-SCOTT men’s team wrapped up a unique 2020 season on Sunday in Madrid upon the completion of the Vuelta a España, with widespread wins from 11 different riders and highlighted by an equal-record four days in the Tour de France yellow jersey.

Despite the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with just 132 race days completed compared to 235 days in 2019, the Australian outfit picked up 16 UCI victories in seven different countries, five at WorldTour level.

The WorldTour triumphs came courtesy of Adam and Simon Yates, who each claimed a stage victory on their way to securing overall titles at UAE Tour (Adam) and Tirreno Adriatico (Simon), while Lucas Hamilton added to the tally taking his maiden WorldTour victory on the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“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. 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.

“We have definitely learnt a lot this year, it has been a far from normal season on many levels, but guys have stepped up and taken opportunities throughout the year to win and show what they are capable of.

“With wins from 11 different riders it shows that we have some good depth in the team and some talents coming through and that only bodes well for the future. We have never been a team that relies heavily on one or two people and this year shows, we are capable of winning throughout the season and not just with our big-name leaders.

“Like most teams, we have had our ups and downs this year but at the end of the day to still walk away with that much success has been a pleasing thing.

“The Tour especially was a highlight, but we also took two WorldTour general classification wins and multiple WorldTour stage wins along the way and we saw some really consistent performances from a lot of guys. It has been a big spread of victories throughout the team and that has been really promising.”

We take a look back at some of the key moments from the 2020 season:

First Timers:
Starting the season off in style, Cameron Meyer ‘finally’ got his hands on the coveted green and gold Australian champion’s jersey, attacking over the top of the final climb to take an emotional solo victory for his first road title after 11 previous attempts.

The team’s youth then stepped up with success continuing in Australia as 21-year-old neo-pro Kaden Grovessprinted to two stage victories at the team’s home race, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour; his inaugural professional UCI victory.

Overseas in Italy, riders made the most of opportunities that arose throughout the unprecedented season, with 24-year-old climber Hamilton stealing his first win on the WorldTour stage at Tirreno Adriatico before New Zealander Dion Smith took an uphill sprint victory at Coppa Sabatini to deliver his maiden professional UCI victory. 

The theme of ‘firsts’ also continued in the Czech Republic, as Australian rider Damien Howson attacked on the last lap of a brutal day of racing at the Czech Tour to take the final stage victory in a two-way sprint for the line, securing the overall title and delivering his first-ever European victory.

Equal Record in Yellow:
Briton Adam Yates gave the Australian outfit four special days in the prestigious Maillot Jaune at the Tour de France, equalling the team’s record at the 2013 edition when Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey wore it for two days each.

The 28-year-old moved into the yellow jersey on stage five and held onto the race lead until stage eight before eventually finishing in ninth place overall. Teammate Luka Mezgec came agonisingly close to an elusive stage victory, winning select bunch sprints behind a solo escapee on two occasions.

Taking Time Trials:
Remaining consistent, South African Impey, Australian Luke Durbridge and Hungarian Barnabás Peák each added another national time trial title to their collections, topping up the team’s total number of wins for 2020.

Mitchelton-SCOTT Men – 2020 UCI Victories:

  • National Championships Australia - Time Trial: Luke Durbridge
  • National Championships Australia - Road Race: Cameron Meyer
  • Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 3: Kaden Groves
  • National Championships South Africa - Time Trial: Daryl Impey
  • Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 5: Kaden Groves
  • Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol - Stage 3: Jack Haig
  • UAE Tour – Stage 3: Adam Yates
  • UAE Tour – Overall: Adam Yates
  • Czech Tour - Stage 1: TTT
  • Czech Tour - Stage 4: Damien Howson
  • Czech Tour - Overall: Damien Howson
  • National Championships Hungary - Time Trial: Barnabás Peák
  • Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 4: Lucas Hamilton
  • Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5: Simon Yates
  • Tirreno Adriatico – Overall: Simon Yates
  • Coppa Sabatini: Dion Smith

Photos courtesy of Bettini Photo/ Hikari Media

 

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