Mitchelton-SCOTT ready for unpredictability of BinckBank TourFri 9 Aug 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT will take a mixed team of experience and youth to the upcoming BinckBank Tour, which starts this Monday, well aware of how little separates proceedings at the seven-day WorldTour race.
The Australian outfit will start with no clear leader, instead using the opening stages, which despite being flat are often decided by splits due to winds and conditions, before re-evaluating mid-race.
Mitchelton-SCOTT at BinckBank Tour (12 – 18 August):
Edoardo Affini (ITA, 23)
Michael Albasini (SWI, 38)
Jack Bauer (NZL, 34)
Cameron Meyer (AUS, 31)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 22)
Dion Smith (NZL, 26)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 20)
The seven-day BinckBank Tour features six road stages and one time trial.
Without the presence of any major mountain challenges, staying out of trouble and on the right side of any splits and the penultimate day time trial will be crucial to general classification ambitions.
Mitchelton-SCOTT has twice finished fifth overall, once with Luke Durbridge (2012) and once with Daryl Impey (2013).
The team has taken two stage wins in seven editions, both coming in its first appearance in 2012 – in the team time trial and the individual time trial (Svein Tuft).
“If you want to have a good overall, or be up there for any of the stages, you’ve got to be on your toes in this race.
“First and foremost there’s often splits because of the layout of the stages – wind can cut the bunch, crashes can cut the bunch and there’s a lot of road furniture up in that part of the world.
“Last year Mohoric won overall and he set that win up through a select breakaway and I’d expect something similar to happen this year. The key is to be part of the move on the day the breakaway goes to the line and then pulling out a decent time trial.
“It’s almost prologue length, less than nine kilometres so there won’t be big gaps in the time trial but it can still be important.
“The time trial itself will be a big goal for me. I always like to have a crack at a TT and I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on the bike post Giro, with the idea of having a crack at the time trial at BinckBank.
“But the time trial can’t be the only goal. I’d like to do a decent overall result as well, but we will have to see how the legs are.
“I’ve only had one day of racing since the re-build after the Giro, but I want to start this last half of the year strong and this is the place to do it - at BinckBank with a race that suits me, with stages that have a bit of everything and a time trial."
Laurenzo Lapage – Sport Director:
“The first three stages are flat, the fourth is the harder one around Houffalize, another flat stage and then the time trial.
“You can compare a lot of the stages to Classics like Gent Wevelgem, so you have to be careful always, particularly with wind. It’s not as windy as the beginning of the season, but they are nervous stages.
“The TT is short one and completely flat but it’s important. The Binck Bank Tour is always decided by just a few seconds.
“We have quite a young team, so we will be attentive and the guy who is in a good position after the Houffalize stage, will become a protective rider.”
2019 Binck Bank Tour:
Monday, 12thAugust: Beveren to Hulst, 167.2km
Tuesday, 13thAugust: Blankenberge to Ardooie, 169.1km
Wednesday, 14thAugust: Aalter to Aalter, 166.9km
Thursday, 15thAugust: Houffalize to Houffalize, 96.2km
Friday, 16thAugust: Riemst to Venray, 191.4km
Saturday, 17thAugust: Den Haag to Den Haag, 8.4km
Sunday, 18thAugust: Sint-Pieters-Leeum to Geraardsbergen, 178,1km
Photos courtesy of Kristof Ramon.