Mitchelton-SCOTT riders presented as men’s and women’s WorldTour winners at UCI Gala Awards Dinner

Sun 21 Oct 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT riders Simon Yates and Annemiek van Vleuten have finished successful seasons as the top men’s and women’s WorldTour riders for 2018.

The duo, who won Mitchelton-SCOTT’s first Grand Tours this season - Van Vleuten the Giro Rosa and Yates the Vuelta a Espana - along with 16 other WorldTour victories between them, were awarded as the Individual UCI WorldTour Classification Winners at the UCI Gala Dinner in China today.

Van Vleuten also claimed the general UCI world number one ranking, whilst Yates finished second behind world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team).

Annemiek van Vleuten:
In a season boasting a total of 13 wins and 32 top-ten finishes in 45 race days, it’s hard to pick apart a year with so many highlights. 

After working for her teammates throughout the Australian season, podium places at the Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege and fourth at La Fleche Wallonne, Van Vleuten set her sights on the Giro Rosa – the target of a two-year plan with team director Gene Bates. 

After a momentary lapse of concentration cost her the win in 2017, Van Vleuten started the only women’s Grand Tour with the target of ‘favourite’ on her back, but withheld the pressure to claim three stage victories on her way to a historic first Grand Tour victory for Mitchelton-SCOTT. 

The 36-year-old backed the result up with a stunningly ambitious victory on the line at Le Course by Le Tour de France, once again capturing the attention of the world for her tenacious heart, before also winning the Veenendaal Classic and three stages plus the overall at the Boels Ladies Tour.

Back-to-back world time trial championships, by a winning margin of 30seconds, showed her class before a seventh place in the road race championships despite a fractured knee sustained in a crash early in the race perfectly demonstrated her spirit. 

Van Vleuten:
"I always want to win, I am very proud of my results this year winning the Giro-Rosa, La Course, the Boels Ladies Tour and winning the WorldTour is nice because you show you have had super good results all year round.

"I have very proud of my achievements and to win the time trial at the world championships again but I was actually a bit surprised to still be number one ranked rider after not being at the top level in the road race after the crash. 

"It makes me proud to be number one ranked rider because before I always had a teammate Marianne Vos and she was always number one and so it is nice to see your name at the top of the list for both ranked number one and the WorldTour and I think for the team it is important."

Van Vleuten – 2018 WorldTour Victories:

  • Emakumeen XXXI Bira – Stage 2 (TT)
  • Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – Stage 7 (TT)
  • Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – Stage 9
  • Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – Stage 10
  • Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – General Classification
  • La Course by Le Tour de France
  • Boels Ladies Tour – Prologue
  • Boels Ladies Tour – Stage 2
  • Boels Ladies Tour – Stage 6 (TT)
  • Boels Ladies Tour – General Classification

Simon Yates:
A different season plan and debut at the Giro d’Italia seemed to bode well for Yates in 2018. 

After stage wins and second and fourth overall at Paris-Nice and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in the lead up, the 26-year-old was primed for the first Grand Tour of the season and an aggressive approach by the Briton and his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates saw him win three stages during a 13-day stint in the Maglia Rosa jersey.

Back in action after a rest period, Yates finished second at Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika before claiming another stage and second overall at the Tour de Pologne.

Despite a more ‘conservative’ approach for his second Grand Tour of the season, La Vuelta a Espana, Yates still managed to take a stage victory and spend 10 days in the jersey – all on the way to claiming his first Grand Tour general classification victory and the first for an Australian men’s team.

“After a week or so off the bike to reflect, it’s been an amazing year and one I will always remember.  The results have been special but also results that I feel I have been working towards and getting closer to every year since becoming a professional and to finish at the top of the WorldTour rankings just tops it off. 

“Of course, the Vuelta is the highlight as my first Grand Tour victory, and how we pulled together as a team to get everything right for that month of racing was incredible. But, despite the disappointment in the final days, I also look back at the Giro with a lot of pride of how we raced and what we achieved there. 

“I like to race on my instinct, I think that’s what works best for me and what fans want to see, and I hope that I continue to do so and achieve more big results in the coming years.” 

Yates 2018 WorldTour Victories:

  • Paris-Nice – Stage 7
  • Volta Ciclista a Catalunya – Stage 7
  • Giro d’Italia – Stage 9
  • Giro d’Italia – Stage 11
  • Giro d’Italia – Stage 15
  • Tour de Pologne – Stage 7
  • Vuelta a Espana – Stage 14
  • Vuelta a Espana – General Classification

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.