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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 13, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell

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Mitchelton-Scott team looks back on 2020 racing season

The team sent me this retrospect:

Mitchelton-SCOTT men’s team wrapped up a unique 2020 season on Sunday in Madrid upon the completion of the Vuelta a España, with widespread wins from 11 different riders and highlighted by an equal-record four days in the Tour de France yellow jersey.

Adam Yates

Adam Yates spent four days in yellow. Sirotti photo

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

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

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“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. Our biggest disappointment was the Giro d’Italia; where we didn’t get a chance to show what we were prepared to do.

“We have definitely learned 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.

“Like most teams, we have had our ups and downs this year but at the end of the day to still walk away with that much success has been a pleasing thing.

“The Tour especially was a highlight, but we also took two WorldTour general classification wins and multiple WorldTour stage wins along the way and we saw some really consistent performances from a lot of guys. It has been a big spread of victories throughout the team and that has been really promising.”

We take a look back at some of the key moments from the 2020 season:

First Timers:
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 neo-pro Kaden Groves sprinted to two stage victories at the team’s home race, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour; his inaugural professional UCI victory.

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.

The theme of ‘firsts’ also 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.

Equal Record in Yellow:
Briton 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.

The 28-year-old moved into the yellow jersey on stage five and held onto the race lead until stage eight 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.

Taking Time Trials:
Remaining consistent, 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.

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

HEMA to co-sponsor new women’s Jumbo-Visma team

The team sent me this announcement:

HEMA has committed itself as a sponsor to Team Jumbo-Visma’s new women’s cycling team until 2023. The expansion of the existing partnership of Team Jumbo-Visma’s men’s cycling team and skating team is in line with HEMA’s ambition to contribute as much as possible to an inclusive society. According to HEMA, this also includes sponsoring women’s top sport.

With the sponsoring of the new women’s cycling team, HEMA wants to send an important signal: talented men and women must be able to practise sport at the highest level. HEMA also supports the objectives of the Jumbo-Visma Academy to encourage cycling among young people through its sponsorship. They do this by, among other things, working closely with Dutch cycling associations. The Academy does not only focus on boys, but also on girls. In this way, HEMA fulfills its ambition to achieve an inclusive society, a society in which everyone can participate.

Richard Plugge, General Manager of Team Jumbo-Visma: “It is great that HEMA also sees the value of our new project with the women’s team. Within the sport of cycling and skating, we want to perform at the highest level in as many areas as possible, so it is great that many of our current partners are happy to participate in these kinds of opportunities and developments.”

Tjeerd Jegen, CEO HEMA: “With this step we underline the importance of women’s top sport and our ambition to get everyone in society to participate. So also when it comes to top sport. The women’s team of Team Jumbo-Visma wants to become the best team in the world in the coming years, led by multiple champion Marianne Vos, and we would like to contribute to that. Certainly if this means that, in addition to boys, girls also choose cycling more often in the future. HEMA and bicycles have been linked for years. Customers know where to find us for bicycle accessories, bicycle insurances and, since this summer, also a lease e-bike. The sponsorship is therefore a logical choice and once again underlines that HEMA is a big fan of cycling.”

Bora-hansgrohe Update: Jay McCarthy

Editor’s note. Jay McCarthy crashed out of the seventh stage of this year’s Vuelta a España

The team sent me this:

After undergoing diagnostics, Jay has been transferred to a specialist hospital in Germany and has undergone initial surgery for a complex knee trauma. He is being well looked after and is in excellent hands to receive the best support possible. At this early point after surgery, the focus is on monitoring his progress day by day.

"I'm thankful for the support that I've received from everyone. The care that I'm receiving here in the hospital is first class, and I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has sent me messages of support. Now I'm concentrating fully on my recovery to be back at full speed." - Jay McCarthy

Jay McCarthy

Jay McCarthy in 2015. Sirotti photo

We're all wishing Jay a good recovery and all the best.

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