Yates and Mitchelton-SCOTT primed for mountainous Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Mon 3 Feb 2020

2018 Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates will lead Mitchelton-SCOTT at a mountainous edition of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts this Wednesday. 

The five-day tour, starting at the team’s spiritual home of Mitchelton Winery, will tackle two hors category mountain-top finishes up Falls Creek and Mt Buller in one of the toughest editions in history.

Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour (5-9 February):
Sam Bewley (NZL, 32)
Kaden Groves (AUS, 21)
Damien Howson (AUS, 27)
Cameron Meyer (AUS, 32)
Nick Schultz (AUS, 25)
Dion Smith (NZL, 26)
Simon Yates (GBR, 27)

The Course:
Complementing the two mountain-top stage finishes on stage two and four, the remaining three stages provide an opportunity for the sprinters if they can keep the race together.

The Past:
Mitchelton-SCOTT has won four overall titles at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour since the team’s inception in 2012, including a top-three clean sweep in 2018. The Australian team relinquished the title to Team Sky in 2019, but is motivated to reclaim honours in 2020. 

Former champions Damien Howson and Cameron Meyer, and 2019 stage winner Nick Schultz all feature in the line-up to support Yates.

Simon Yates:
“I last rode the Sun Tour back in 2013 and still to this day it’s the hottest temperatures I have ever raced in. 

“It’s a great race which I’m looking forward to returning. The final climbs look very challenging and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and giving it a go. 

“Of course we’re in the middle of the Aussie summer and so the local teams are in great shape and very motivated. It will be a hard race and not knowing the opposition always puts a question mark in your mind before trying anything in the race, but I’m looking forward to racing nonetheless.” 

Matt Wilson – Sport Director:
“I’ve never seen a Jayco Herald Sun Tour with two hors category climbs in it. It’s pretty massive and we’ve got one of the best climbers in the world here in Simon Yates.

“You saw on Sunday at the Cadel Road Race and at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide everyone is going really well and we have a good team to support him.

“I think the Mt Buller stage in the most crucial. It’s a hard climb, it’s suits Simon a lot more. At Falls Creek there will be big gaps but the first 15km are up and down and it’s highly likely there will be a head wind which might neutralise it a bit.  

“With one of the favourites and as a home race, we’ll have to take some responsibility in the race, but we’ve got a team to do it.”  

2020 Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage Details:
Wednesday, 5 February: Mitchelton Winery to Shepparton, 121.9km
Thursday, 6 February: Beechworth to Falls Creek, 117.6km
Friday, 7 February: Bright to Wangaratta, 178.1km
Saturday, 8 February: Mansfield to Mt Buller, 106.6km
Sunday, 9 February: Melbourne, 89.1km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.