The Australian cycling team Michelton–Scott has been riding in the professional peloton since 2018. It is the latest incarnation of the team that used to be called Orica–GreenEDGE, which was set up in 2012. In the early days, successful Australian riders such as Robbie McEwan, Stuart O’Grady and Simon Gerrans were the big names in the team. Nowadays it’s more of an international squad, and the men’s team is often at the forefront of major UCI World Tour races. Here are the names to watch.
Simon Yates’ breakthrough year was without a doubt in 2018. He won three stages during the Giro d’Italia and appeared to be on course for the overall victory. He had a major Bad Day, though, and fell right down the rankings during the crucial third week. He took his revenge during the Tour of Spain and won the overall victory in convincing style. This year he will race those two major Grand Tours again and is aiming for the win in both. He will also ride Paris–Nice to prepare for the Giro.
Simon Yates won the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) in 2018. Photograph: Cor Vos.
Talent is apparently in the Yates family’s blood: Simon’s twin brother Adam is also an excellent professional cyclist. Since his brother has the other two Grand Tours on his list, Adam has his sights set on the Tour de France. In the 2016 edition of the Tour, Adam looked set to achieve a good result after getting top-five in both the Tirreno–Adriatico and the Criterium de Dauphine, however he didn’t perform too well. He aims to set the record straight in 2019.
Adam Yates (right) riding support for his brother Simon (left) during the 2018 Tour of Spain. Photograph: Cor Vos.
With Esteban Chaves also riding for the team, Mitchelton–Scott has another trump card in its hands for the general classification of major races. Chaves made an excellent first impression during the 2016 season, achieving second place in the Giro and confirming his qualities during the Tour of Spain by finishing on the podium in third place. In 2018 Chaves also looked good in the Giro, but then suddenly in the 10th stage dropped down the rankings like a stone and eventually lost half an hour. He will ride the Giro in 2019 and hopes to set the record straight.
Esteban Chaves won the sixth stage in the Giro 2018. Photograph: Cor Vos.
The Mitchelton–Scott team also has an excellent sprinter: Matteo Trentin. The current European road racing champion, Trentin was particularly strong in the 2017 Tour of Spain, with four stage victories to his name. In 2018 he didn’t really perform exceptionally, but now aims to focus on the upcoming Spring Classics—in that respect he is a similar rider to Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews. Trentin will then ride the Milan–San Remo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris–Roubaix in 2019.
Matteo Trentin wins the 2018 European Champion’s jersey ahead of Mathieu van der Poel (in orange) and Wout van Aert (in blue). Photograph: Cor Vos.
Michael Albasini is one of the older riders in the team. He has ridden for the team since it was set up, and is particularly strong during races that last about a week. Albasini has won a stage in Tour of Romandie seven times, and has three stages in the Tour of Spain to his name, though in recent years he has been a support rider for the team’s general classification contenders. He also takes part in the annual Hammer race series. Hopefully we will be able to see this 38-year-old veteran in the middle of the action during the 2019 season.
Michael Albasini winning the first stage in the Tour of Romandie in 2017. Photograph: Cor Vos.