Mitchelton-Scott won’t race for yellow jersey at Tour de France as Simon Yates targets Giro d’Italia win

The team is going all-in for the general classification in Italy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mitchelton-Scott has announced they will not be targeting the yellow jersey at this year’s Tour de France, as they go all in for the Giro d’Italia with Simon Yates.

The Australian WorldTour team had their most successful Tour to date last season, taking four stages after the initial disappointment of losing their general classification chances.

But this year the team are going to focus on stage honours, as Yates looks for revenge in the Italian Grand Tour after coming close in 2018.

Mitchelton have released their long lists for the Tour and Giro squads, with the final selection due to be made once racing has returned.

Explaining the team’s approach to the Tour, head sports director Matt White said: “After the success of last year, we want to chase stage wins at the Tour de France. We rode an aggressive style of racing last year and we want to continue in that vein this year.

“The stacked GC field can affect stage opportunities, but it can also create opportunities. It’s no secret the strongest squads are Team Ineos and Lotto-Jumbo but once the GC is stabilised, there’ll still be opportunities because no one wants to control the Tour de France for 20 days; you just have to pick the right moments.”

White said the team are recceing stages and that the best chances are after stage 10, when the race leaves the Pyrenees as the GC picture will be more settled.

For the Giro, it’s all about Simon Yates after the Brit wore the pink jersey for 13 days in 2018 and came within two stages of the win before his dramatic collapse.

But the 27-year-old proved himself a Grand Tour star by dominating the Vuelta a España that year to win his first three-week race.

White said: “The focus for us at the Giro d’Italia will be to support Simon Yates as best as possible, to help him achieve the optimal result we can as a team and ultimately try to win the race.

“For me, the Giro d’Italia is the most physically demanding Grand Tour, so having a strong team around you certainly makes a difference.  The team we will send will be a deep one and I’m confident Simon will have great support across all facets of racing.”

All the riders will be returning to competition after a long lay-off, which White says is similar to time off due to injury.

>>> Annemiek van Vleuten considering transfer away from Mitchelton-Scott

He said: “In general, we know the guys have been training well in this period so we know more or less where they are at, but now they need to convert that training into race condition with a limited race program. It will be the equivalent of starting back racing after a major injury, with the lockdown period and different mental challenges that had to be dealt with.

“I am happy with where the guys are at currently but we will make our final selection decisions based on how guys adapt back to competition.”

Mitchelton-Scott long lists

Giro d’Italia

Edoardo Affini (ITA, 24)

Brent Bookwalter (USA, 36)

Jack Haig (AUS, 26)

Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 24)

Michael Hepburn (AUS, 28)

Damien Howson (AUS, 27)

Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 31)

Cameron Meyer (AUS, 32)

Nick Schultz (AUS, 25)

Simon Yates (GBR, 27)

Andrey Zeits (KAZ, 33)

Tour de France

Jack Bauer (NZL, 35)

Sam Bewley (NZL, 32)

Brent Bookwalter (USA, 36)

Esteban Chaves (COL, 30)

Alex Edmondson (AUS, 26)

Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 28)

Daryl Impey (RSA, 35)

Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 31)

Luka Mezgec (SLO, 32)

Mikel Nieve (SPA, 36)

Adam Yates (GBR, 27)

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.