Two-time 2019 Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates will start his 2020 season in Australia, for the first time since joining Mitchelton-SCOTT, before rebuilding for a return to the Giro d’Italia.
Yates will complete a full Australian campaign, kick starting in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under, before heading to Victoria for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and a mountainous Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
After spending 13 days in the Maglia Rosa in 2018 and failing to meet his own expectations, finishing eighth overall in 2019, the 2018 Vuelta a España champion will return for the third consecutive season to the Giro d’Italia, on his way to another key season target, the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I have always wanted to do the Aussie summer. Of course riding for an Australian team there is more pressure, but I really enjoy getting stuck into racing and giving it a good go. With these being our home races, the boys are super motivated to give everything.”
“I would love to hit the ground running, so when any opportunities to take my own chances come, I hope to grab them with both hands. After competing in both the Giro and the Tour last season, I was extremely tired and so we decided as a team to stop earlier than normal to give myself the best possible preparation for 2020.
“Winter has been going great so far and I have just finished a very important block of training in Gran Canaria, but I will fly out early to Australia to be able to adapt to the heat.”
“As a team, the more options the better for the Tour Down Under. This race has been settled on more than one occasion on bonus seconds so everything will count.
“Daryl has found the winning formula and so we know how to approach the race. I will be there to support him or take my chance as they arise. Of course the more climbing the better for myself personally, but regardless, I think as a team we can go in there fully focused to win.”
On the Jayco Herald Sun Tour: “I last rode the Sun Tour back in 2013 and still to this day it’s the hottest temperatures I have ever raced in. It’s a great race which I’m looking forward to returning. The final climbs look very challenging and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and giving it a go.
“Of course we’re in the middle of the Aussie summer and so the local teams are in great shape and very motivated. It will be a hard race and not knowing the opposition always puts a question mark in your mind before trying anything in the race, but I’m looking forward to racing nonetheless.”
On returning to the Giro: “The Giro is a race with a lot of charm and character – the fans are passionate, the parcours are amazing and it always produces exciting aggressive racing which I enjoy.
“Last year I just felt I never really got to the level that I expect of myself, I want to go back in the best shape possible and try again. That, and along with the Olympics coming so close to the Tour de France this year; I believe the best way to approach the Olympics would be to do the Giro.
“The 2020 route is a very traditional course with a lot of time trailing kilometres, and many high altitude mountain passes. We will have to prepare for anything to happen.
“The aim is to have the condition and shape that I know I can have, and give everything I have, which I hope will give me the best possible chance of winning.”