Aussie Focus

Hamilton and Yates aim for Catalunya GC win

2018 Vuelta a España Champion Simon Yates and recent fourth place Paris-Nice finisher Lucas Hamilton, will lead a strong Team BikeExchange outfit at next week’s 100th edition of Volta a Catalunya, hungry for the general classification victory. SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand will broadcast all stages of the Spanish WorldTour race with Stage 1 starting tonight from 1.45am AEDT.

79th Paris - Nice 2021 - Stage 8, Lucas Hamilton, Team BikeExchange

Lucas Hamilton of Team BikeExchange with Ben O'Connor of AG2R-Citroen looming behind on Stage 8 of Paris-Nice Source: Getty

Hamilton, 25, was very impressive at Paris-Nice among a host of strong Australians in the general classification (GC) fight, moving up to fourth overall from sixth on the final stage with some canny racing.

“I am looking forward to racing Catalunya, it is in the region that I spend a lot of time training, so I look forward to getting stuck in," said Hamilton. "I have never done this race but from all accounts, it looks really tough, so I’m happy to try and get another good stage race under the belt soon after Paris-Nice.

“I learnt a lot riding GC for the first time last week and now I’m really looking forward to carrying that momentum into Catalunya and having another crack and we will have a really strong team in the climbs.”

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Simon Yates was a late addition for Team BikeExchange's squad, coming in after a mixed performance at Tirreno-Adriatico where he was one of the best on some stages and then dropped unnecessary time elsewhere.

“I had a change of plan, originally I was only going to do Tirreno and then Tour of the Apls but in Tirreno I felt like I missed some racing, some race rhythm, so it looked like a good idea to come and race Catalunya to try and find that intensity and take another step forward," said Yates. “We have a very strong team there so I think as a group, as a team, we can do a good ride. I had good form in Tirreno so we will see what we can do.”

The Grand Tour winner will take on his brother and former Team BikeExchange teammate Adam Yates in the fight for the overall win, the first time the twins have squared off in WorldTour competition.

Alongside the two Team BikeExchange leaders, bringing a wealth of experience in the hills, will be two-time Grand Tour podium finisher Esteban Chaves and 2021 signing Tangel Kangert; who will both make their 2021 season racing debuts at the WorldTour event.



Adding strength and depth to support the team’s GC ambitions is American rider Brent Bookwalter and Australian rider Callum Scotson, whilst New Zealander Dion Smith gives the squad a strong option for any potential sprint finishes.

Sports director Julian Dean outlined the Australian WorldTour team's goals heading into the race.

“Our main goal is the general classification and we will go in with a dual approach with Lucas and Simon," said Dean. "Obviously, Lucas has shown some good signs recently, performing well at Paris-Nice so he deserves that opportunity.

“Simon is adding some more racing to his programme, so he is joining us for Catalunya and will give us that extra firepower and options for the GC. We also have Chaves who is coming in for his first race of the season and will be important support for those guys.

“We have a massive amount of depth coming to this race in general so will definitely have to be aggressive and make the most of the depth of our team.

“The time trial will be a really crucial day and our approach will be really based on the outcome of that. We also have the stage to Vallter and then Col de Aine on stage four, and I think that will be the real critical stage with all those climbs coming back-to-back and the accumulation of the days before.“

Team BikeExchange at Volta a Catalunya:
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Esteban Chaves (COL)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Simon Yates (GBR)

Volta Catalunya on SBS VICELAND

 

March 23-28

LIVE to Eastern States (delayed to other time zones on SBS HD), live streaming to all SBS On Demand  

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 1 

Tuesday March 23  

0120 - 0315  

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 2 

Wednesday March 24  

0115 - 0315 

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 3 

Thursday March 25  

0115 - 0315

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 4

Friday March 26

0115 - 0315 

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 5

Saturday March 27

0115 - 0315 

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 6

Sunday March 28

0115 - 0315 

Live on SBS VICELAND: Volta Catalunya Stage 7

Sunday March 29

2130 - 2330


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4 min read
Published 22 March 2021 at 9:36am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS