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Mitchelton-SCOTT debut at Brussels Cycling Classic and Antwerp Port Epic

Wed 4 Sep 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT will make its debut at the Brussels Cycling Classic and Antwerp Port Epic one-day races in Belgium this weekend, taking a mixture of experience and youth to the Classics-style events. 

Two of the team's eldest statesmen Michael Albasini and Tour de France stage winner Daryl Impey will line up alongside 20-year-olds Kaden Groves and Barnabás Peák, who will both make their debut as stagiaires. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT team for Brussels Cycling Classic and Antwerp Port Epic (7th– 8th Sep):

Michael Albasini (SWI, 38)
Kaden Groves (AUS, 20) * stagiaire
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 28)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 34) * Saturday only
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 30)
Barnabas Peak (HUN, 20) * stagiaire
Callum Scotson (AUS, 23) 

Courses:
Brussels Cycling Classic is your typical Belgium Classic with 12 bergs to conquer rather than any large climbs on the 189km route around the outskirts of Brussels.

On Sunday, Antwerp Port Epic is without the bergs to climb but adds 31km of cobblestones and 37km of unpaved roads into the mix.

History:
2019 will be the first participation for Mitchelton-SCOTT at both events. 

Michael Hepburn:
“We have quite an experienced team for the weekend races as well as our two stagiaires, Barnabas and Kaden. Both of them will be full time with us from January so it’s a great opportunity for them to finish this season with some races in the Mitchelton-Scott colours, as well as a chance to meet the riders and staff. Getting a feel for how the team operates will make their transition into the WorldTour next year that little bit easier I’m sure.

"Of course none of us have raced with either of them before so it’ll be a learning experience for everyone but these end of season races are the perfect opportunity for that. We also haven't raced these races before but we have plenty of guys who race up north during the spring and I expect both races to follow the same style of racing as the spring classics.

"Brussels Classic on Saturday typically finishes in a bunch sprint and as for the Antwerp Port Epic on Sunday, I think that one will be a more aggressive and open race. There’s a fair few kilometres on cobbles and unpaved farm roads, mixed in with the weather which can play a big part in the races up north.”

David McPartland – Sport Director:
“It’s the first opportunity for Kaden and Barnabas, and we’re sort of fast tracking their development by having them already with the team and doing some races with us. Obviously having Impey and Albasini in the team, it’s the ideal way to bring them in.  

“They’re not the biggest races we do, so it should be a really good transition for those guys to begin their journey with us. Saturday has a pretty strong start list, whilst Sunday is probably a little closer to what they’re accustomed too.

“Saturday is an easier version of De Brabantse Pijl. It’s in a similar area, they are only short climbs and I don’t expect them to be decisive factor in the race. I’m expected a pretty controlled race with a big bunch sprint at the end.

“On Sunday, it’s a much more open race. It should be more open and aggressive. We’re not going in with a particular leader on this race, it’s a bit of a lottery, but the main thing we need to do is be on the front foot and the best way to do that is to go on the attack and have guys always in breakaways and have other guys ready to be move selective in later moves.”

Race details:
Saturday, 7th September – Brussels Cycling Classic, 189km
Sunday, 8th September – Antwerp Port Epic, 187km

Photo courtesy of Kristof Ramon.

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