Australian registered WorldTour team Mitchelton-SCOTT has concluded the first Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d’Italia, in Rome this evening with five stage wins, including three in the pink jersey, and 13 days in the race lead.
The eight-man team fought through the glorious highs and the difficult lows of cycling to finish the Italian three-week race having animated much of the first two weeks, before eventually walking away with one of the best performances of the team’s history.
Starting with the highest of highs:
In what is one of the best days in the team’s history, Esteban Chaves and Jack Haig escaped in a large breakaway before Chaves attacked solo with 5.5km remaining. As the GC group moved closer, Yates attack from behind to join his teammate in the front of the race before honouring him a well-deserved stage win and moving the Mitchelton-SCOTT duo to first and third overall.
Leading from the front:
The aggressive tactics made for spectacular racing, scarce hope for breakaway attempts and a legion of fans across the roads of Italy.
But more so, it resulted in three impressive stage victories to Yates in the Maglia Rosa, a feat not accomplished since Gilberto Simoni in 2003.
13 days in Pink – an invaluable learning curve:
The 25-year-old did so, in impressive and aggressive fashion, to excite fans for 13 days before he slipped off the pace on stage 19. More so, it was the way Yates handled the increased responsibility, attention, post-race procedures and media that bodes well for future Grand Tour feats.
Bouncing back from the lows:
Suffering from exhaustion, Yates slipped off the back of the bunch on the first climb and out of the pink jersey just three days from Rome.
But rather than accept the disappointment as a conclusion, the team showed incredible strength to refocus the following day and positionMikel Nieve in the breakaway and to an eventual solo victory on the penultimate day.
Signing off from Rome:
Matt White – Head Sport director:
“We went about it in an aggressive style of racing that has not been seen for a long time. Our four stage wins, with three in the pink jersey, really created an incredible buzz around the cycling world.
“The team was 100% behind Simon and although he lost the jersey so close to the finish we are all so proud of how he represented the team in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
“Then to cap off and incredible win by Mikel Nieve, directly after the disappointment of losing our dream, shows the real character of this team and this Giro will never be forgotten.
“Even with five stage wins and 13 days in the pink jersey we will go back and analyse the race and come back hungrier for more success in 2019.”
Giro d’Italia – Stage 21 Results:
Giro d’Italia – FINAL General Classification: