2020 has been a tough year for the WorldTour peloton, with riders experiencing pay cuts, travel difficulties and COVID restrictions that have impacted them financially and competitively.
Outside of that 2020 will likely be remembered as the emergence of a new generation of Aussie stars. Jai Hindley's second overall at the Giro d'Italia, Ben O'Connor's stage win at the same and the emergence of Grace Brown as a Classics and time trial star on the making.
Australians in the Women's World Tour:
Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott to 2021)
Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott to 2021)
Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott to 2021)
Jessica Allen (Mitchelton-Scott to 2021)
Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo to 2021)
Sarah Gigante (TIBCO-SVB to 2021)
Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope to 2022)
Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope to 2022)
The Mitchelton-Scott core extends with the Australian WorldTour squad, with Amanda Spratt expected to be the leader going forward. There are plenty of other potential leaders in the wings from an Australian perspective in that squad, however.
Sarah Gigante barely turned a pedal in anger in 2020, but has been training the house down during Melbourne's lockdown and will be one to watch.
Chloe Hosking (Rally to Trek-Segafredo to 2022)
Hosking's switch to Trek-Segafredo will make it seven teams at the top level for the Australian sprinter. Hosking's three wins for 2020 added to the 36 on her career and she's still one of the fastest riders around.
Retired/Without contracts for 2021-
Shannon Malseed Retired
Gracie Elvin Retired
Shara Marche Retired
Jenelle Crooks (TIBCO-SVB to ???)
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM to ???)
Jessica Pratt (Canyon-SRAM to ???)
A large proportion of the Aussie contingent on the WorldTour is either retiring or has an uncertain future at this stage. Shara Marche (nee Gillow) is calling an end on her 10-year-career in the sport, while Gracie Elvin is similarly bowing out after nine years at the top level.
Shannon Malseed has announced her retirement as well, all three retirees national champions in either the road race or the time trial.
It would be a surprise to see Cromwell retire from the sport, while Pratt has likely shown enough in her neo-professional season to guarantee a contract for 2021.
Crooks is a bit more up in the air, she wasn't included in the swathe of re-signed riders by her American squad and hasn't raced on the road since the coronavirus enforced season shutdown.
Australians in the Men's WorldTour:
Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-McLaren to 2021)
Lachie Morton (EF Pro Cycling to 2021)
Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ to 2021)
Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Callum Scotson (Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Lucas Hamilton has long been identified by Mitchelton-Scott as their GC man for the future. He was taken out the Mitchelton-Scott feeder team ahead of Jai Hindley and Michael Storer and now with Jack Haig leaving the team, it appears that Hamilton has been confirmed as the great Aussie hope on the Australian WorldTour squad.
Haussler is entering his 18th season as a professional rider, while younger riders Lachie Morton and Miles Scotson have a very different approach to their careers. Morton, in particular, spends about half his time riding the 'alternative calendar' that EF Pro Cycling follow, as well as setting himself personal 'mega-ride' challenges.
There was a mass Mitchelton-Scott announcement after the initial release of this article, moving the seven Aussies from being 'in limbo' back into the safe section.
Ben O'Connor (NTT to AG2R Citroen to 2021)
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo to INEOS Grenadiers to 2021)
Michael Matthews (Sunweb to Mitchelton-Scott to 2022)
Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott to Bahrain-McLaren to 2023)
O'Connor won his new deal with his impressive performances at the Giro d'Italia and will look to take his opportunities at AG2R Citroen, while Porte, - even more impressive at the Tour de France - is heading the opposite direction, moving into a super domestique role at INEOS Grenadiers.
Matthews returns home with his Mitchelton-Scott signing after four years away from the squad, while Jack Haig has garnered himself a nice deal with Bahrain-McLaren where he'll likely be one of the GC leaders.
New signings for 2021-
Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal to 2022)
Taj Jones (Israel Start-Up Nation to 2023)
Seb Berwick (Israel Start-Up Nation to 2023)
Retired/Without contracts for 2021-
Rob Power (Sunweb to ???)
Jay McCarthy (BORA-hansgrohe to ???)
Cameron Wurf (INEOS Grenadiers to ???)
Ben Dyball (NTT to ???)
Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo to ???)
Mitch Docker (EF Pro Cycling to ???)
Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling to ???)
Adam Hansen retired
Rory Sutherland retired
Power would be a big loss from the WorldTour at this stage of his career, just 25, and still with plenty of scope to improve. Jay McCarthy has been in extensive surgery and rehabilitation since his nasty crash at La Vuelta a Espana, he's likely a rider that has an as-yet-unannounced deal for next season as he's been a valuable lieutenant for BORA-hansgrohe in recent seasons.
Adam Hansen has called it quits on his 17-year professional road cycling career, with the intention of a serious tilt at ironman competition next year. Hansen's record of 20 consecutive Grand Tour finishes remains the benchmark for consistency in the sport.
Ben Dyball looks like the most precarious of the WorldTour riders, after his neo-professional season at the mature age of 30 started off poorly with illness and never really improved much from there.
Simon Clarke is probably the best performed Australian in recent years to be without an announced contract at this stage for 2021, but surely shouldn't find it hard to secure his future after recent years where he's been not just a road captain, but a rider who can take very good results in the classics.
Cameron Wurf may not necessarily be cycling at WorldTour level, but he'll be a professional athlete of some sort with his ironman ambitions.