Next week at the Volta a la Comunitat Valencia, seven Mitchelton-SCOTT riders will kick start their 2019 seasons, with Briton Adam Yates ready to test his legs on the climbs, European champion Matteo Trentin eyeing sprint stages and Giro d’Italia stage winner Esteban Chaves making a much anticipated return to racing.
Chaves will get the chance to pin a number on his jersey once again after an eight month hiatus due to being diagnosed with Epstein-barr virus along with sinus and allergy reactions mid-way through the 2018 season.
With plenty of kilometres in the legs after a tough Spanish training camp, the balanced seven-rider squad are ready to get back into the peloton and hope to carry on the team’s successful momentum from Australia.
Thomas will make his season debut when he comes barrelling down the start ramp of Wednesday’s opening time trial in the elegant spa town of Orihuela, and it will be his first race since the 2018 Tour of Britain, where he finished a low-key 34th overall.
Thomas’ form will be an unknown so far out from his big objectives of 2019, and following his capture of the Tour de France last year, this February there is inevitably something of a feel of uncharted waters for the Welshman.
Mitchelton-SCOTT will take a conservative approach to the comeback of Colombian climber Esteban Chaves after he returned to the bike this week for the first time since finishing the Giro d’Italia ten weeks ago.
After claiming a spectacular victory atop Mt Etna on stage six of the Italian Grand Tour, Chaves unexpectantly dropped out of overall contention on stage 10.
The 28-year-old fought on in attempt to assist teammate Simon Yates in his 13 days in the Maglia Rosa before he and the Mitchelton-SCOTT medical team turned their attention to discovering the cause of symptoms impacting his ability to ride at his top level.