Neither Yates brother will ride the Vuelta a España as Mitchelton-Scott announce squad

Simon Yates will not defend his title as the Australian team throw their weight behind Esteban Chaves

Adam and Simon Yates at the Ruta del Sol 2019 (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the first time this year, a Yates brother won't ride a Grand Tour as Mitchelton-Scott announce their squad for the Vuelta a España, which features neither Adam or Simon.

Simon, who won the Vuelta in 2018, has raced both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year and was rumoured to be considering returning to Spain to defend his title.

>>> Five key stages of the 2019 Vuelta a España

At the Tour de France, Simon Yates said: "It would mean I’ve done four Grand Tours in a row, but why not?"

Following a disappointing Giro d'Italia, where he had hoped to compete for the win, he eventually had to settle for a top 10 finish, more than seven minutes down on Richard Carapaz (Movistar).

He then went to the Tour de France to ride in support of his brother Adam, who also faltered in the GC battle, finishing 29th and over an hour down on Egan Bernal (Ineos). However, Simon won two stages in what turned out to be a fruitful race for Mitchelton-Scott who took home four stage victories in total.

At the Tour, Mitchelton-Scott sports director White appeared to have left the door open on Simon's inclusion, saying: "I won’t confirm or deny, but three Grand Tours in a year can be quite difficult."

However, the announcement of their eight-man squad put to bed the chances of Simon riding four Grand Tours in a row, with neither Yates brother selected for the race.

Esteban Chaves will lead the Australian team, having taken an emotional win on stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, announcing his comeback following a testing two years.

Luka Mezgec will hope to continue the form that saw him pick up two stage wins at the Tour of Poland, with a particularly dominant sprint victory on stage two, beating Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Pascal Acerkmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Mikel Nieve, Damien Howson, Sam Bewley, Nick Schultz, Dion Smith and Tsgabu Grmay make up the rest of the squad.

Chaves will face stiff competition from Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana), as Mitchelton-Scott finally look to mount a successful GC challenge at a Grand Tour in 2019.

The Vuelta a España 2019 begins with a team time trial on August 24 and finishes on September 15 in Madrid.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.