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Mitchelton-SCOTT confirm 2020 program and RACESAFE policy

Fri 10 Jul 2020

With less than two weeks until a return to racing, Mitchelton-SCOTT has confirmed its men’s and women’s race programs for the remainder of the 2020 season.

The schedule release comes in line with an initial edition of ‘RACESAFE’, the team’s own COVID-19 policy to ensure the health and safety of riders and staff remains the highest priority when racing returns.

Mitchelton-SCOTT will kick start its campaign in the Basque Country, with the women’s team racing at Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa and Clasica Femenina Navarra on the 23rd and 24th July. The men will follow shortly after at the Vuelta a Burgos from July 28th.

The women’s program will feature 32 race days across 17 events, with the men lining up for 117 days across 30 events. Both teams will conclude the season at the Vuelta a Espana / Madrid Challenge on November 8th.

View the full race calendars here.

To compliment the UCI COVID-19 procedures and those of individual events, Mitchelton-SCOTT has also developed an internal document, RACESAFE, for riders and staff. The working document was developed by the medical team and will be consistently reviewed throughout the season.

For the health and safety of riders, staff and the public, some of the additional measures to be undertaken by the team include:

  • The presence of a team doctor at every race for both our men’s and women’s teams
  • A programme of assessment and COVID-19 testing for all team members to minimise the virus risk within a mobile “team bubble”
  • Additional sanitisation protocols
  • A focus on collective responsibility around face-covering, social distancing, and hygiene
  • Suspension of any autograph, selfie or standard photo activities with fans

Matt White – Men’s Head Sport Director:
“We’ve selected the additional races outside the WorldTour races for a combination of reasons.  One is to prepare for bigger races and our bigger targets which is obviously the three Grand Tours and certain one-day races. 

“Another is to give everyone races. The WorldTour alone is not enough to give 28 guys racing and we also want to provide a mix in style of racing between stage and one-day races.

“We haven’t pushed things on riders, but we have a very self-motivated group. Everyone has handled it well, everyone is raring to go.

“I don’t think there’s any excuses coming back to racing. Even though as a team we had probably 90% of riders off the road for two months, everyone had a home trainer and a long-enough window on the road that racing is going to be even when we start back.

“It’s like the start of the season and the end of the season all at the same time. Guys know, regardless of their race program, that the start of August is game on. The whole bunch will be ready and motivated.”

Martin Vestby – Women’s Head Sport Director:
“We will start racing in Basque, which will be a good opportunity to get everyone back together and good preparation for Strade Bianche.

“Also, with the COVID-19 situation, we feel that after such a long break it’s good to relax back into racing, to see how the different protocols will be implemented rather than find our feet at a WorldTour race.

“We have riders with the capability to perform in a lot of the races we will start, so with this compromised schedule I would say we have quite a big target on every race we will start.

“The girls have done really well with how they have approached this period. When we saw this was going to last quite a long time, they changed training approach to keep a basic condition. Now, as we’re getting closer to racing, intensity has increased for race preparation.

“We can see mentally that they are really looking forward to going back to racing and are enthusiastic about the last work that needs to be put down now.”

Dr David Hulse – Team Doctor and RACESAFE leader:
“The opportunity to complete the season is welcomed by both riders and staff, as we have all endured a challenging and unsettling period, but despite the success of many European countries in emerging from lockdown restrictions, some risk still remains.  

“The UCI, race organisers and all team doctors have also been very active in developing new procedures around testing and infrastructure to reduce risks presented by COVID-19 within the race bubble.  Our role as team doctors is to oversee the risk mitigation and enable the riders and sports directors to focus on racing.

“We have developed our RACESAFE document to minimise risk across all our team activities.  We have fantastic group of staff whose understanding of how the team operates has been invaluable in developing comprehensive infection-control processes.

“We are all responsible for protecting each other but I’ve no doubt that, despite the pressures and challenges that COVID-19 risk mitigation will bring, we’ll be able to maintain the camaraderie and atmosphere around racing that this team is known for.”

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