Mitchelton-SCOTT to make their debut at Ruta del Sol boasting an impressive line-upSun 17 Feb 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT will make their debut at Ruta del Sol next week with a stellar team line-up which includes Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates who begins his 2019 season, plus recent Volta a la Valenciana stage winners Adam Yates and European champion Matteo Trentin.
After a strong start in Europe last week, the Australian outfit head to Ruta del Sol with confidence to challenge for more stage wins with the likes of Adam Yates, Jack Haig and Trentin, after all displaying signs of early season form.
The five-day Spanish tour will be the first race for Simon Yates, who is eager to get his 2019 season campaign started after a long winter of training.
Starting in the south of Spain, the race begins with a rolling road stage that concludes with a steep 1.2km uphill climb to the finish, before a longer second stage which may be the first and only real opportunity for the fast men.
Stage three is when every seconds counts in a 16km individual race against the clock, before the main test for the climbers comes on the fourth stage. It is short 119km day but includes four main climbs, two of which are first category classified. The first one, the 9.5km Alto del Purche comes after 50km of racing followed by the testing and lengthy 16.2km Hazallans climb that crests at 23km from the finish line.
The stage looks to be the key deciding day for the overall classification, however the climbers will still have another finally opportunity to race for the title with five categorised climbs to conclude proceedings on the final day of racing, but a bunch sprint can still not be ruled out.
It will be the first time for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Ruta del Sol, so the squad will be looking to make an impressive debut. Last year the competition was fierce with the final podium placings all separated by just 27seconds, with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) coming out on top claiming the overall race win.
“This will be my first time and the team’s first time racing Ruta del Sol, so it’s always nice to experience something new and obviously we’re coming into it with a super strong team.
“Last week went better than expected, so after a week of recovery it’ll be nice to step back into racing and try sustain the high level of success the team has already experienced so far this year.”
"I am looking forward to starting racing again, it is a new race for me so I am looking forward to that and I know some of the roads quite well around Granada so that also helps. But really I am just ready to start racing again.
"We have a few guys who have already raced who are going quite well like Adam and Jack, so I will just try to support them as much as possible."
Laurenzo Lapage - Sport director
“It is still a preparation race for us, so the first goals is going for stages than the overall. We have a strong team, we have Jack, Adam and we also have Matteo for the sprints. For Simon it is his first race, so he will just want to get into the racing again without stress and we will always keep in mind it is a preparation race for us.”
"The first stage is one that could suit Adam with the steep finish, and then if he is in a good position then of course we will defend his position and try to bring him in a good way to win he race, but also with a time trial on the third day we will see. The first climb on the first day is so short so there’s not really a chance to put a lot of time into guys who are maybe stronger in the TT. Stage two could be a reduced bunch sprint and stage five also could end up as a bunch sprint."
Ruta del Sol Details
Wednesday, 20th Feb: Stage 1, Sanlucar de Barrameda- Alcala de los Gazules, 170km
Thursday, 21st Feb: Stage 2, Sevilla - Torredonjimeno, 216km
Friday, 22nd Feb: Stage 3, Mancha Real - La Guardia de Jaen, 16.4km
Saturday, 23rd Feb: Stage 4, Armilla - Granada, 119km
Sunday, 24th Feb: Stage 5, Otura - Alhaurin de la Torre, 163.9km
Photos courtesy of Getty Images