Mitchelton-BikeExchange return to European racing at Trofeo-Piva & Giro del BelvedereSat 31 Mar 2018
Chinese UCI Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange go into back-to-back Italian one-day races over Easter at the 70th edition of Trofeo Piva followed by the 62nd Giro del Belvedere.
Both races are renowned for their U23 pedigree and form part of the UCI Europe Tour, the team performed well in both races last year with Lucas Hamilton placing second at Belvedere.
Taking place in the northeastern winemaking region of Veneto, the terrain of both races is challenging with parcours dotted with climbs coming before fast finishes with Piva covering 170kilometres and Belvedere 167kilometres including two tough finishing circuits with repeated climbs coming before the line.
2018 sees new faces line up alongside old as Australians Robert Stannard and Sam Jenner both return and Colombian climber Brayan Chaves makes his first appearance for the team.
British sprinter Jacob Hennessy completes the line-up along with Australian Harry Sweeny as both riders make a swift return to racing after the recent Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia where Sweeny placed tenth overall.
Brayan Chaves (COL, 20)
Jacob Hennessy (GBR, 21)
Sam Jenner (AUS, 21)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 19)
Harry Sweeny (AUS, 19)
Protect and position Jenner and Stannard over the fast circuits at Trofeo Piva and help Chaves adapt to first European race.
At belvedere on Monday, look to work Chaves into a good position over the final climbs and provide support with Jenner and Stannard also targeting a good result and possible top ten.
Sport director James Victor:
“We’re really looking forward to our first races on the European calendar and especially returning to Belvedere where we have achieved good results in the past. Both races are solid U23 events and we’ve got a nicely balanced team with Jacob and Harry both coming in straight from Langkawi and Brayan making his first appearance for the team.”
“The transition to racing in Europe from South America can be a big one so for Brayan this weekend will be more about adapting and taking that first transitional step than a heavy focus on the result, but Monday’s circuits with the ascents may suit his characteristics so we will work to get him in a good position.
“Sunday at Trofeo Piva, Rob and Sam will have some freedom to have a go and it will be important for the other guys to keep them up near the front. They both know the race from last year and the closing circuits are fast so we will need to be switched on throughout to have a chance of a result.”
Trofeo Piva, Sunday April 1st and Giro del Belvedere. Monday April 2nd.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.