• Esteban Chaves is pushed by Tsgabu Grmay on the final climb of Stage 3 of La Vuelta (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
American Brent Bookwalter and Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay have both signed one-year extensions with Mitchelton-SCOTT for the 2021 season.
SBS Cycling Central

23 Nov 2020 - 9:14 AM 

The pair will add to the team support strength of the Australian men's WorldTour squad, a squad that will stay fairly stable into 2021 with only a few changes in rider personnel.

Both are team players and are more suited to playing a part in the performances of others than winning races themselves regularly. Grmay, the only Ethiopian currently riding in the WorldTour, came through the UCI international training facility in Switzerland before turning professional and having spells with MTN-Qhubeka, Lampre-Merida and Trek-Segafredo. 2021 will be the quietly spoken African's third season with the Australian team.

“I am so happy to continue with the team again next year," said Grmay. I am comfortable in this team; it has a really amazing atmosphere with each rider and staff.

“I am always excited for racing with my teammates and having a great time, that makes my job easier and makes me love my job. I am so lucky to be part of it again next year and looking forward and would like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity for the next year also.

“I will do my best to help the GC guys and to do whatever the team need me to do and put me to work for. I am really ready and I will work and fight so hard for it.”

Team sports director Matt White extolled the 29-year-old Grmay's virtues.

“Tsgabu is committed, he is a guy that you can see enjoys his role, he is a real team player and gives 110% every time he pins a number on," said White. “He has really gelled well with the group in the past two years and we’re looking forward to him playing that role again in 2021.”

Bookwalter, 36, is a veteran of a Tour de France victory with Cadel Evans in 2011 and is a very consistent performer at WorldTour level.

“All things considered with this crazy COVID-19 altered year there’s a lot of positives that I’ve been able to take from the season," said Bookwalter. "It was another year settling in with the team; I feel more at home, more synced up with the team, coaching staff, performance staff, and my teammates and I think that showed out on the road.

“I’m proud of the team performances I did, supporting Jack Haig at Ruta del Sol and I felt like I was an integral part of Simon Yates’ big win at Tirreno-Adriatico.

“Individually, the big positive for me was the ride I put together at Strade Bianche. I think it was my best single-day result at a WorldTour one-day race and to do it off the back of the shut down so especially positive and important to me. Becoming a dad this year I was challenged at home and with training to figure out how I was going to put that together and to come out of the break with such a strong ride at Strade Bianchi was really encouraging and inspiring for the coming years."

Bling's 'toxic' situation with Gerrans in the past as Mitchelton look to future
Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matthew White has described a 'toxic' situation between Simon Gerrans and Michael Matthews led to the Australian star rider's departure, but hopes that the sprinter's 2021 return will see the team with a chance to win the biggest races.
Durbridge, Meyer among seven Australians to renew with Mitchelton-Scott
Luke Durbridge and Australian champion Cameron Meyer are among seven Australians who have renewed their contracts with Mitchelton-Scott for the next two seasons.
Aussies re-sign with Mitchelton-SCOTT women
Mitchelton-SCOTT women will maintain its Australian core with the renewal of four key contracts for the 2021 season.

Mitchelton-Scott have 27 riders confirmed for their 2021 squad now, the minimum number for a 2021 WorldTour team under the UCI regulations, but they have the potential to go up to 30 riders total.