Simon Yates returns to scene of 2016 victory at Prueba Villafranca de OrdiziaSun 22 Jul 2018
Triple Giro d’Italia stage winner Simon Yates returns to racing next week for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the 95thedition of Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia, heading up a strong line up that also sees Italian Matteo Trentin back in action after recovering from a fractured spine.
Yates won the one-day Basque Country classic back in 2016 and alongside Trentin goes into the race following a period of recovery after spending thirteen days in the pink leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia
The Australian outfit take a strong team packed with options into the historic race with Australian road champion Alex Edmondson lining up with compatriots Lucas Hamilton and Rob Power and Tour de Suisse stage winner Chris Juul Jensen completing the team along with versatile Spaniard Carlos Verona.
Alex Edmondson (AUS, 24)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 21)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 29)
Rob Power (AUS, 23)
Matteo Trentin (IT, 28)
Carlos Verona (ESP, 25)
Simon Yates (GBR, 25)
Mitchelton-SCOTT boast a solid history in the oldest Spanish one-day classic with victory for Simon Yates in 2016 preceded by a win back in 2013 for the team with Daniel Teklehaymanot.
A hilly race that takes in repeated climbs over circuits that total 165.7kilometres with the final climb – the Alto de Abaltzisketa - usually proving to be key to how the finish plays out, with Yates making his winning move there in 2016 and setting a course record for the fastest ever ascent.
“After the difficult first part of the season dealing with crashes and injury, I am really looking forward to being back racing with the team on Wednesday and also for the second part of the year.”
“It is not how I wanted to start my first season with a new team and since Roubaix, it feels like a long time that I’ve been away. My recovery has gone really well, I was back training in good time and recently raced the national championships In Italy as well as Adriatica-Ionica with the national team and I followed that up with two good blocks at altitude in Livigno.
“I feel good, strong, but clearly I am missing some race pace and rhythm – no matter how intense your training is, nothing can replicate the conditions of racing. Above all I am happy and excited to be back racing with the team again.”
“This is my first race back since the Giro d’Italia, but one which I have fond memories of as the winner in 2016. One of my favourite places to race a bike is the Basque Country, it’s a beautiful place with extremely passionate fans.”
“We as a team hope to win the race and we have a very strong team to do that and we will look to exploit our strength in numbers to try to secure a third victory in the event.
“For me personally this is the start of the build-up to the Vuelta a Espana and training has been going well, but you never know until you race, so I am hoping for good legs and also some good luck."
Sport director Dave McPartland:
“This race represents a return to competition for these guys after hitting a re-set button for the second half of the season. They are coming in fresh and motivated and we will be starting with an open plan and plenty of options.”
“We have the versatility to put guys in the break and try to go for it from there with riders strong enough to win from a reduced group and also fast guys to finish it off in the event that it comes down to a sprint finale.
“We have had success here in the past, first in 2013 and then more recently with Simon in 2016 and we will be looking for a return to the top step in the Basque Country.”
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.