Marco Pinotti will join the performance team at Mitchelton-Scott for 2021 with the Italian moving across from CCC Team.
The former professional and well-respected coach has yet to finalize the exact day-to-day details around his role, but he fully expects to bring across his vast coaching knowledge around time trialing and training. He will work alongside the existing coaching and performance group within the Australian squad and could also slot in as a director sportif at some races.
The move came about after Pinotti contacted current Mitchelton-Scott rider Brent Bookwalter. The pair worked together during their BMC Racing days and with CCC set to fold Pinotti wanted his next roll to be both challenging and within a culture that like CCC appreciated rider development.
In September, Bookwalker told Pinotti to speak to Mitchelton-Scott’s general manager Brent Copeland, and from that point Pinotti and Copeland began to discuss options.
“First and foremost I’ll be a physical trainer. I expect to work on time trialing and I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the squad,” Pinotti told Cyclingnews from the Vuelta a España.
“I know that I’m entering a great organization, and while some of the details still need to be defined around the role I know that I’ll fit with the team. I was looking for a team that had a certain culture for improvement and goals.
“After many years with the same organization I also wanted to move outside of my comfort zone but in a different environment I know that I can give a lot but also get a lot back too. I’m very excited about this. I’m looking forward to working with the riders and helping them with their performance.
“Two years ago when BMC Racing was folding there was an opportunity that I didn’t take because I wanted to stay faithful to the organistion but with the news that the team wasn’t going ahead for 2021 I knew that I needed to make this necessary decision. It was an easy decision though in terms of my personal development.”
Pinotti and Copeland have a long-standing relationship that goes back to the early 2000s when Pinotti was a rider and Copeland was a director at Lampre.
The Italian, who retired in 2013, turned professional with the Lampre team and spent several years on the Italian squad as one of Copeland’s riders. Copeland has followed Pinotti’s development from a rider to a coach over the last few years and believes that the Italian will help improve rider performance.
“I’ve known Marco for many years and I’ve seen his career evolve. He’s done an incredible job and even as a rider he was meticulous,” Copeland told Cyclingnews.
“We wanted to invest in our performance group and we wanted to invest in extra trainers. We have excellent staff in that area at the moment and they do an incredible job. They’re very professional but Marco will be a very important assent for our team. I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for his training methods, and the way he works.
“Brent Bookwalter told me that Marco might be available and it just went from there. Marco fits in with a lot of teams because of his easy character. He gets on with the job and I immediately felt that this would be a good fit for him, the riders and the rest of the performance team.”
The Mitchelton-Scott team has yet to publicly announce that their 2021 roster is full but they do not expect to make any more major signings. Their 2021 team will be lead by Simon Yates, Esteban Chaves, and new recruit Michael Matthews, who rejoins the team after four years at Team Sunweb.