Mitchleton-SCOTT men’s team finished a unique season on Monday morning (AEDT) in Madrid upon the completion of the Vuelta a España - we take a look at how the Australian outfit performed during 2020.
SBS Cycling Central

13 Nov 2020 - 12:13 PM 

Despite the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic - with just 132 race days compared to 235 in 2019 - Mitchleton-SCOTT picked up 16 UCI victories in seven different countries, five at WorldTour level.

Season highlights also included wins from 11 different riders and highlighted by an equal-record four days in the Tour de France yellow jersey.

The WorldTour triumphs came courtesy of Adam and Simon Yates, who each claimed a stage victory on their way to securing overall titles at UAE Tour (Adam) and Tirreno Adriatico (Simon).

Meanwhile, Lucas Hamilton added to the tally taking his maiden WorldTour victory on the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Theme of 'firsts'

Starting the season off in style, Cameron Meyer finally got his hands on the coveted green and gold Australian champion’s jersey, attacking over the top of the final climb to take an emotional solo victory for his first road title after 11 previous attempts.

The team’s youth then stepped up with success continuing in Australia as 21-year-old Kaden Groves sprinted to two stage victories at the team’s home race - the Jayco Herald Sun Tour - his inaugural professional UCI victory.

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Overseas in Italy, riders made the most of opportunities that arose throughout the unprecedented season, with 24-year-old climber Hamilton stealing his first win on the WorldTour stage at Tirreno Adriatico, before New Zealander Dion Smith took an uphill sprint victory at Coppa Sabatini to deliver his maiden professional UCI victory.

This theme of ‘firsts’ continued in the Czech Republic, as Australian rider Damien Howson attacked on the last lap of a brutal day of racing at the Czech Tour to take the final stage victory in a two-way sprint for the line, securing the overall title and delivering his first-ever European victory.

Record in Yellow equalled

Brit Adam Yates gave the Australian outfit four special days in the prestigious Malliot Jaune at the Tour de France, equalling the team’s record at the 2013 edition when Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey wore it for two days each.

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The 28-year-old moved into the yellow jersey on Stage 5 and held onto the race lead until Stage 8, before eventually finishing in ninth place overall.

Teammate Luka Mezgec came agonisingly close to an elusive stage victory, winning select bunch sprints behind a solo escapee on two occasions.

Time trial victories

South African Impey, Australian Luke Durbridge and Hungarian Barnabás Peák each added another national time trial title to their collections, topping up the team’s total number of wins for 2020.

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Head Sport director Matt White's reflection

“The Tour de France is the biggest event on our very global calendar, so what we did there, wearing the yellow jersey, was definitely a highlight. We probably planned on a few more wins but to walk away with 16 in the season we had is still a good achievement. 

“We have definitely learnt a lot this year, it has been a far from normal season on many levels, but guys have stepped up and taken opportunities throughout the year to win and show what they are capable of.

“With wins from 11 different riders it shows that we have some good depth in the team and some talents coming through and that only bodes well for the future. We have never been a team that relies heavily on one or two people and this year shows, we are capable of winning throughout the season and not just with our big-name leaders.

Mitchelton-SCOTT men – 2020 UCI victories

- National Championships Australia - Time Trial: Luke Durbridge
- National Championships Australia - Road Race: Cameron Meyer
- Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 3: Kaden Groves
- National Championships South Africa - Time Trial: Daryl Impey
- Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 5: Kaden Groves
- Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol - Stage 3: Jack Haig
- UAE Tour – Stage 3: Adam Yates
- UAE Tour – Overall: Adam Yates
- Czech Tour - Stage 1: TTT
- Czech Tour - Stage 4: Damien Howson
- Czech Tour - Overall: Damien Howson
- National Championships Hungary - Time Trial: Barnabás Peák
- Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 4: Lucas Hamilton
- Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5: Simon Yates
- Tirreno Adriatico – Overall: Simon Yates
- Coppa Sabatini: Dion Smith