Mitchelton-SCOTT aiming to end season on a high at Madrid Challenge


Mitchelton-SCOTT will round out the 2020 season in Spain this weekend as they tackle the new-look three-day Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.

European champion Annemiek van Vleuten will line-up for her final race with the team after five years in the Australian squad, with the 38-year-old keen to end things on a high. Sarah Roy will also be looking to end 2020 on a positive note after a strong run of recent results that have seen the 34-year-old take three top five finishes in her last three outings.

Former double national time trial Georgia Williams is back in action after the Ardennes classics, while Janneke Ensing, Jess Roberts and Jess Allen come into the race after taking part in the late-season Belgian classics last month.

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team:
Jess Allen (AUS, 27)
Janneke Ensing (NED, 34)
Jess Roberts (GBR, 21)
Sarah Roy (AUS, 34)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 38)
Georgia Williams (NZL, 27)

The Course
The race has been extended to a three-day stage race for 2020, after initially starting out as a one-day race back in 2015 before becoming a two-day event two years ago.

The organisers have added a hilly stage for the opening day of racing this year, with the peloton facing an 82km route from Toledo to Escalona. Day two will use the same 9.44km time trial course that has been used in the previous two editions before the race comes to a close on the traditional circuit in Madrid.

Roy boasts the team’s best result at Madrid Challenge with a ninth-place overall back in 2018 after the team finished third in the opening stage team time trial.

Annemiek van Vleuten:
“It’s nice to see that the organisers have stepped up and organised a three-day stage race! Only for WorldTour level the distances are a bit disappointing. I would love it if organisers took us seriously also with distance. But let’s hope for next year!

“I’m looking forward to finishing off this season with the team on a high. That will be not achieved mainly by results, but more when we work together as a team and go for a plan together. I want to finish it off on a high my five years with the team with a lot of teamwork!

“The uphill finish on stage one is not really a long uphill, but for sure I would love to give it a go there! The short TT will be also challenging for my wrist because I was not allowed to go out of my saddle and sprint last six weeks.

“Also, I look forward to last stage where we will work together in the leadout for Roy, and after I am going to cry because then I will realise my time with this amazing team and people has come to an end!”

Sarah Roy:
“I’m looking forward to racing the Madrid Challenge. It’s different to previous years but I think the extra stage will make things more exciting.

“I’m also glad it’s a course that you can’t predict the winner. The short sharp stages is a great way to wrap this season up.”

Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas:
“It’s been a long ‘short’ season, but we have a group of girls who have performed very well during this period, so we expect some good riders from some riders and maybe we can fight for the jersey.

“The new stage is not a super hard stage, but it’s a windy area, so we can expect some action if the wind is strong enough and the finish line is on a punchy climb. For the climbers it’s not super hard, but I think it suits some of riders well, so we’ll give it a crack.

“If you make the front group on stage one if it splits up, then the time trial will decide everything for the overall.”

Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta 2020 – Race Details:
Friday, 5th November: Stage 1, Toledo – Escalona, 82.2km
Saturday, 6th November: Stage 2, Boadilla del Monte to Boadilla del Monte, 9.44KM (TT)
Sunday, 7th November: Stage 3, Madrid – Madrid, 92.2km

Photo Courtesy of Bettini Photo.