Bannan: I'm taking fantastic memories away from this Giro d'Italia

Mitchelton-Scott manager would love to retain services of Simon Yates

The way in which Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates gained time from, and then lost time to, defending Giro d'Italia champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was dramatic, and would have made for an exciting race in itself.

But for Yates to then lose almost 40 minutes to Chris Froome (Team Sky) – while Dumoulin, too, tried to limit his losses to the eventual overall winner – made the 2018 Giro one of the most talked-about races for years.

Watching the race slip away like that might quite understandably have made anyone connected to the Mitchelton-Scott team feel upset or angry, but general manager Shayne Bannan was only too happy to chat to Cyclingnews at the conclusion of the race in Rome on Sunday, and to give his take on where it all went wrong. And, indeed, where it all went right.

"Overall, I've got to say I'm taking away fantastic memories from this race," said Bannan. "With five stage wins and 13 days in the pink jersey, there's obviously an element of having come so close, particularly for Simon and the crew that worked so hard with him. But we'll certainly go away from this Giro with much more experience. Simon as an individual would have learned a lot from this, and so have we.

"Absolutely not," comes the reply when asked whether Bannan would have changed anything about the race. "I think when it comes to the aggressive mindset Simon was in, you have to commend him for that.

"We absolutely wouldn't change what happened," he reiterates, while expanding on where he sees the race got away from them. "There are a number of factors as to why Simon lost time: going too deep here, going too deep there, 13 days in the jersey, you know, waiting around for the podium, and so on. It all takes its toll. But again, what a fantastic experience to put yourself through. We could have instead have just played the waiting game, but perhaps then we wouldn't have ended up with anything, so it's really been a great experience."

As to where the team goes now, with the Tour de France on the horizon, and talk of whether Mitchelton-Scott will be able to afford to retain the services of the now very-much-in-demand Simon Yates, Bannan is typically honest and forthright.

"We're trying to become a Grand Tour team. We're certainly developing into one. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that one of our major objectives in the near future is to win a Grand Tour.

"We're in discussions," Bannan said regarding Yates' contract, admitting that the interest from other teams in him off the back of his Giro performance is no surprise. "Why wouldn't they be interested? It's a competitive market. Simon's been with us since he turned professional, but we understand that it's a competitive market, and we'll come up with the best offer we can afford to allow him to stay.

"I think that with any offer, it's not just about the money. It's about the support of the team, and it's about many, many different parts that contribute to the final result."

As Simon Yates' value rises, along with twin brother Adam's, and with Esteban Chaves continuing to progress in Grand Tours, as well as sprinter Caleb Ewan about to make his Tour de France debut in July, is Mitchelton-Scott heading towards a situation where the team has too many chiefs?

"In some ways it's a really good situation because they're not really egotistical people," Bannan pointed out, "so you can sit down and have that honest conversation with each of them: about their plans, about what they want to go for, what they want to achieve. And then it all sort of gels, and that's the way we've always run things in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

"But can we afford all four of those guys? That's another question. I don't know," he laughed.


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