Cycling Central talked to Miles Scotson about the path to his first World Tour contract.
“It’s been a long year, I’ve done a bit of everything it feels like. Starting off with an American team, not doing much racing before going onto the track and the Olympics, then on to Belgium. It feels like I’ve been living out of a suitcase a lot of the time.”
Scotson shot to prominence on the road with wins in both the under-23 national road race and time trial in 2015, a feat he wasn’t quite able to replicate this season with second to his younger brother Callum in the time trial and third in the road race.
He had signed with Illuminate, an American team, but didn’t end up racing much with them as he built up for his major goal of the year, the Rio Olympics. As part of a very strong squad for the Team Pursuit squad, Miles Scotson was the unlucky man on the bubble of the selection for Rio.
He went as the reserve for the team, before using the form he had built for a strong end to the season with Belgian Pro Continental team Wanty Groupe Gobert and the Australian World Tour Academy. Topping it off with a bronze medal in the World Championships time trial in Qatar, it proved enough for World Tour teams to show interest.
“It was about keeping my head screwed on throughout it all, in the end I really had to fight to get a pro contract for next year.“
“I got there which is great, there were plenty of ups and downs and it was really a year of fighting but I’m really happy to have got a contract, even if I had to do it the hard way.”
“I had another World Tour team interested before BMC jumped onboard so they were a few options, but once they offered I accepted straight away.”
Riding for three different outfits this season on the road, Scotson has had a lot of positive buzz around his prospects as a rider of the future, but even a rider of his talent could have been passed over in the ultra-competitive battle for World Tour contracts.
“I rode very strongly in my stagiare with Wanty, which BMC had a bit of a role in setting up for me. Allan Peiper, obviously he looks after BMC, but he’s willing to help out Australians as well and he said that if I didn’t get back onto the road after the Olympics I might get a bit forgotten about when it came to next year.
“He helped me get a ride with Wanty, obviously Baden (Cooke, Scotson’s Agent) has been chasing things up all year and working really hard but nothing had come of it.”
The 22-year-old will join fellow Australians Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis on the team and sees himself contributing to BMC in his neo-professional season.
“Well, there’s obviously a big focus on the team trials at BMC and there’s a spot opened up on the squad (with Taylor Phinney moving to Cannondale-Drapac). It’s a good spot for me to start off paying them back for putting faith in me.”
“The individual time trial is obviously an area where I’ve had good results in the past. Also, I’ve spent a few years living in Belgium, learning the ropes of that classics style of racing, so that can hopefully be a focus as well.”
Scotson is a current world champion on the track with the team pursuit squad and whilst his efforts will be concentrated on succeeding on the road, he flagged a potential return to the velodrome.
“For this first season, I really want to try and make the most of this opportunity and try and progress on the road, so I won’t be focused on the track. I’ve got my eye on the Commenwealth Games in 2018 and Tokyo 2020… but for the moment it’s all about BMC and the road.”