Mitchelton-SCOTT men hunt for green and gold

Wed 2 Jan 2019

As racing returns to Ballarat for the Australian Road Race Championships this weekend Mitchelton-SCOTT men have their eyes set firmly on more green and gold jerseys to take back to Europe.

Racing commences with the national criterium championships on Friday, 4th January before moving to Buninyong for the road race on Sunday and time trial to finish off on Tuesday.

We preview the men's events with riders and directors below: 

Friday, 4th January - Criterium: 

  • Robert Stannard

With sprints taking a back seat in 2019, Mitchelton-SCOTT will have just one representative in the national criterium championship when racing opens in Ballarat on Friday.

Coming through GreenEDGE Cycling’s Continental Team, Robert Stannard was elevated to the WorldTour list in late 2018 and will begin his full neo-pro season with a solo hit out in Ballarat’s City Centre. 

Robert Stannard:
“I'm actually really excited for the criterium, it is always fun racing, plus it's another opportunity for a result early in the season.  

“Seeing as I have no teammates it will be a tactical race for sure, but it also gives me the chance to make my own opportunity.

“It’s a little bit unknown, as it is the first race in the season so I'm not expecting too much, although I will certainly be fighting for the podium. And if not, it is always a good warmup for the road race.” 

Sunday, 6th January – Road Race:

  • Luke Durbridge
  • Alex Edmondson
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Mathew Hayman
  • Michael Hepburn
  • Damien Howson
  • Cameron Meyer
  • Nick Schultz
  • Callum Scotson
  • Robert Stannard

After a three-year hiatus, the coveted green and gold jersey returned to Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2018 thanks to a somewhat surprising win by Alex Edmondson who took his opportunity and maximised it with a victory last year. 

Ten Mitchelton-SCOTT riders, include two former winners in Edmondson and Luke Durbridge, will line up on Sunday, hoping for a repeat performance.

Alex Edmondson – Reigning champion:
“2018 started off on a high winning the Aussie Road Nationals, it’s always been such a huge goal of mine to be able to wear the green and gold bands and it didn’t disappoint. It was such an amazing feeling being able to represent the Aussie jersey in all my races over in Europe.

“We are in for another exciting race on the weekend in Buninyong. We have another super strong line up with Mitchelton-SCOTT with a few different cards we can play. Of course it would be amazing to go back-to-back but I’m going back to play my part in the team. If the opportunity comes up I will grab it with two hands, but the team comes first. The main goal is making sure the Aussie jersey stays in the team.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“This is the first year we haven’t gone in with a leader like Caleb (Ewan) or someone like Gerro (Simon Gerrans) but of course we do have a numerical advantage with ten riders, which will be around the same as a couple of the domestic teams.

“We have definitely got options, with a number of riders specifically targeting the race, and some others that can be valuable in helping them.

“We haven’t got one clear leader, but we certain have multiple guys who can win the race and the options are probably as diverse as ever.”

Tuesday, 8thJanuary – Time Trial:

  • Luke Durbridge
  • Cameron Meyer
  • Callum Scotson

Mitchelton-SCOTT will line up with three representatives in the time trial, including Luke Durbridge and Cameron Meyer who have both won on two occasions in the past. 

The up-and-back 40.9km undulating course is often subjected to tough winds and a tougher ride home, so pacing will be crucial against the world’s best competition. 

Luke Durbridge:
“It’s a hard course, quite rolling and undulating and you’ve really got to save a lot of energy for the way home because the way back it’s a lot harder than going out. 

“I’ve been training hard, getting fit for the season, and I always like to do one-day time trials when I can because we don’t get many opportunities throughout the season. 

“The last two years I’ve run second to Rohan (Dennis), so it hasn’t been too bad of a start to the past seasons. Rohan is obviously the world champion so if you get close to him you’re having a good ride. I will go out there and give it my best shot on the day and hopefully I am on the podium.”

Matt White – Head Sports Director:
“We would expect Rohan (Dennis), the current world champion, to be on the start line so he would be going in as favourite.  We’ve come close to him before, it’s been a while since we’ve won the title, but our three guys will be competitive, that’s for sure.”

Photo courtesy of Con Chronis.