The 29-year-old is coming off the best Giro Rosa of her career, where she finished seventh in the general classification. She is a former Spanish national road race champion, winning the race back in 2013 and finished second in 2020.
Santesteban is a rider that doesn't win a great deal, but she has consistently populated top tens in climbing races and has shown steady progression in recent years. Santesteban joins from German squad Ceratizit-WNT, and spoke about her joy of signing on with the Australian squad.
“I am super happy to join the team because we do a lot of races together, I am always looking and it looks like a really good group," said Santesteban. "All of the girls and also the staff are like a family altogether and when I spoke with the team it was a super nice conversation so I was really happy to join the team."
One of the key reasons behind Santesteban's motivation to join the team was being a key part of Amanda Spratt's support setup, with the three-time Australian national road race champion taking on the role of team leadership in the wake of Annemiek van Vleuten departing the squad for Movistar in 2021.
“Honestly, another reason I am happy to be in the team is because of Amanda Spratt," said Santesteban. "She is a super good rider, in the worlds recently she was always with a medal and also in the Giro d’Italia she was really strong so I am happy to ride with her as a climber and also with the other girls. They really work as a team, I would like to learn from everybody and give all I have to work well with them.
“In the last years I have really improved as a rider and as a person, and I would like to continue with this improvement. I also just want to be happy in the team, I am a really positive person and I want to give this for the spirit of the group.”
Mitchelton-Scott sports director spoke of what Santesteban will bring to the Mitchelton-Scott team.
“We are aiming to really build a good climbing group for the Giro d’Italia, the Ardennes and those hilly races; and alongside Spratty, Lucy (Kennedy) and Georgia Williams, Santesteban is the perfect addition.
“She really understands her role as support for Spratty, but she also just finished seventh overall at the Giro and is capable for going for her own results too.
“She hasn’t won many races, but she is consistent in hilly races, has produced good results and is always up there. She has the experience, but we think the change of environment and our support structure will really help her take the next step and we will see her reach her peak in the coming years. She will really strengthen that climber’s group so we can play more cards.”
The World Championships from Imola, Italy are the next big event of the cycling season. SBS will broadcast the world championships LIVE on SBS On Demand and streaming from the SBS Cycling Central website. There will be coverage of the women's time trial from 2240 Thursday September 24, men's time trial 2215 Friday September 25, women's road race 2035 Saturday September 26 (switch to SBS VICELAND at 2230), men's road race 1750 Sunday September 27 (switch to SBS VICELAND at 2230). All times AEST.