• Annemiek van Vleuten in action for Mitchelton-Scott (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mitchelton-Scott have named their team for the three-day Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, focused around departing star Annemiek van Vleuten and Australian Sarah Roy.
SBS Cycling Central

5 Nov 2020 - 2:37 AM 

The race itself is shrouded in a bit of uncertainty with a few WorldTour teams already opting out, but the Australian outfit has a good squad lining up.

"It’s nice to see that the organisers have stepped up and organised a three-day stage race," said van Vleuten.

"Only for WorldTour level the distances are a bit disappointing. I would love it if organisers took us seriously also with distance. But let's hope for next year!"

An 82 kilometre stage over lumpy terrain will kick off the three day race, followed by a 9.4 time trial and a 92 kilometre flat stage around Madrid as the traditional finale. With the time trial it's a course that should suit the two-time world time trial champion, and represents a swansong for the Dutch star at the Australian team as she moves onto Movistar next season.

"I’m looking forward to finishing off this season with the team on a high," said van Vleuten. "That will be not achieved mainly by results, but more when we work together as a team and go for a plan together. I want to finish it off on a high my five years with the team with a lot of teamwork!"

"The uphill finish on stage one is not really a long uphill, but for sure I would love to give it a go there! The short TT will be also challenging for my wrist because I was not allowed to go out of my saddle and sprint last six weeks.

"Also, I look forward to last stage where we will work together in the leadout for Roy, and after I am going to cry because then I will realise my time with this amazing team and people has come to an end!"

The Madrid Challenge will run alongside the Vuelta a Espana, with the final stage of the race streaming on SBS Cycling Central and SBS On Demand on Sunday evening 20.55 AEDT.