Mitchelton-BikeExchange to close out European season at Piccolo LombardiaThu 4 Oct 2018
Ahead of the final Asian races of the 2018 season Mitchelton-BikeExchange will end the European calendar at the prestigious one-day Italian classic Piccolo Lombardia on Sunday.
Australian Rob Stannard leads the line in what will be his final race for the team before stepping up to the WorldTour with Mitchelton-SCOTT at Tre Valli Varesine the following week.
Lining up alongside Stannard are compatriots Callum Scotson, Harry Sweeny and Sam Jenner with Briton Jacob Hennessy completing the five-man squad.
Scotson will follow Stannard to Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2019 and also makes his final U23 appearance on Sunday before the team takes on the Tour of Hainan, Tour of Fuzhou and the Tour of Quanzhou in China.
Jacob Hennessy (GBR, 22)
Sam Jenner (AUS, 21)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 22)
Rob Stannard (AUS, 20)
Harry Sweeny (AUS, 20)
An old and classic event that takes place one week before the elite men’s event and last monument of the season, Piccolo Lombardia covers 174.7kilometres over rolling terrain around Lake Como and includes the iconic Madonna del Ghisallo climb out of Bellagio.
2018 marks the 90thedition of the race with Jai Hindley the team’s best placed finisher in last year’s race, crossing the line in 11thplace with Michael Storer close behind in 12thafter a trio of riders went clear of the chasing group to contest the win maintaining a gap of over one minute.
“I am looking forward to Sunday, I think it’s a race that suits me well because of the parcours and also the fact that I have just come from the World Championships, so I feel like I am carrying some form into the race.”
“It’s quite late in the season and a lot of the other riders have had more race days than me and there should be some tired legs in the peloton, whereas I feel pretty fresh. The climbs suit my characteristics with the Ghisallo and the Colle Brianza coming before Marconaga di Ello at the finish.
“In terms of the finish I think it’s a similar race to the Giro del Belvedere, so if I can perform how i did there and get into the select group at the end then I am confident in myself to do well from a reduced bunch sprint.
“We have a strong team lining up on Sunday and after a really great year with Mitchelton-BikeExchange getting a result at Lombardia would be a great way to finish off the U23 season before my first races with Mitchelton-SCOTT.”
Sport director James Victor:
“2017 was the first time we raced at Piccolo Lombardia and we were able to field a very competitive squad in what is an important U23 race and it will be no different this time around.”
“For Callum and Rob it will be their last races with the team before moving on with Mitchelton-SCOTT and for the other guys it forms part of their ongoing race program that leads into our last Chinese races of the season.
“The race is held almost in our own backyard, it’s only an hour from our base in Varese and it’s an event we want to do well in. The course profile definitely suits Rob and favours a smaller group going away to contest the finish, but that depends on how the field races the climbs.
“Sam can be up there too, he’s in good shape coming off the back of Tour of China II and Harry is also carrying some form after racing in China. We have a compact, but strong group lining up in support and we’ll be looking to round off our European campaign on a high.”
Photos courstey of Twila Federica Muzzi.