Mitchelton-Scott announced Friday that they have extended contracts with the core roster of Australian riders that includes Grace Brown, Sarah Roy, Jess Allen and Lucy Kennedy. The team currently listed as GreenEdge Cycling on the Women’s WorldTour registration will support sole leader Amanda Spratt in 2021.
“I am really excited for next year, with a few results under my belt towards the end of this season, it’s shaping next year up to be pretty exciting. I can see myself being a leader in a few races and that’s going to be cool,” Brown said in a team press release.
“It’s been really fun stepping up this year and with the change in our team dynamic moving forward it’s going to be really open. We will see a lot of us stepping up and I’m looking forward to that environment.”
The team announced earlier this year that they had signed Spratt back on a two-year deal through 2022. Annemiek van Vleuten would move to Movistar next year, bringing the curtain down on a five-year term with the Australian outfit.
Mitchelton-Scott have already announced signing newcomers Teniel Campbell from Valcar Travel & Service, Ane Santesteban from Ceratizit-WNT and Arianna Fidanza from Lotto Soudal Ladies. Gracie Elvin announced that she would retire at the end of this season.
Brown has had an exceptional season with podiums at the national championships, second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a victory at Brabantse Pijl.
“We knew Grace’s strength and qualities as a rider and last year we put her on a pretty deep program just to let her gain some experience with that and tried to build her into a more confident rider and learn where she can use her strengths, and this is what we are seeing the results from,” said team director Martin Vestby.
“It’s not a surprise for us to see that she has performed in the last races. We have seen her strength both as a time trial rider and as a Classics rider but with some more experience and some more opportunities, she has grabbed that with both hands. When you start to perform well, you crack the code of how to race these races and how to use your strengths and experiences in the best way.
“For sure I see her in a lead role for quite some races next year but she also has the strength in races that maybe don’t 100 per cent suit her to then go in and be a really strong support rider as well.”
Allen returns to the team as a solid domestique and has spent the last five years with the programme.
“We’re going to have quite a different group of people, a few different cultures and nationalities which will make it quite exciting. I’m looking forward to meeting these new girls and winning a lot of bike races with the team,” Allen said.
Kennedy is one of the strongest climbers in the peloton and will provide support for Spratt on mountainous terrain. She is also expected to move into a leadership role when the opportunity arises.
“Mitchelton-Scott feels like the right place for me, now more than ever, as the challenges of 2020 have brought us closer together. Particularly for the Aussie riders, we understand the difficulties we’ve each faced and supported each other through them. There’s also a sense of pride in the way the team overcame its difficulties earlier in the year. The team fought hard to continue and I’m glad to return this loyalty,” Kennedy said.
Roy finished the Classics season with three top-five performances; fourth at Gent Wevelgem and De Panne and fifth at the Tour of Flanders, and is looking forward to the spring Classics in 2021.
“I am very grateful that I have another year with the team and I think the team is changing a lot next year, which will keep us all on our toes. It’ll make sure that we’re not complacent and with the changes with riders and a few bits and pieces, I think it’s a good thing so I am really looking forward to it.”