Nick Schultz will move up to the WorldTour in 2019, signing with Mitchelton-Scott on a two-year deal. The 23-year-old Australian rode with his 'home' WorldTour team in the back end of 2016, as a stagiaire, but they didn't have the room to offer him a full-time contract for 2017. Instead, he turned pro with the second-division Spanish team Caja Rural.
During his time in Spain he has ridden a first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España, and finished on the podium at the GP Miguel Indurain this spring behind Alejandro Valverde and Carlos Verona. He will ride the Vuelta again this year, starting on Saturday, before heading for the WorldTour in 2019.
"Having the opportunity to join a team like Mitchelton-Scott is a dream come true. They’re the team that first gave me exposure to the professional ranks [as] a stagiaire in 2016 and it is incredibly humbling that after two years in the professional ranks with Caja Rural, that Mitchelton-Scott have seen my progression and offered me a full time contract," said Schultz.
"Caja Rural has been an amazing platform to learn and develop a lot of skills as a professional both on and off the bike. I’ve been able to finish a Grand Tour and be exposed to a completely different culture. My goal is to slot into the team and be a reliable teammate in whatever capacity is asked of me."
Mitchelton-Scott directeur sportif Matt White described Schultz as a 'real climbing talent', and the 23-year-old will continue his development in a team that has become increasingly geared around the general classification at Grand Tours, with Simon and Adam Yates, and Esteban Chaves.
"Two years ago we didn't have space for him on the team and we have been following his development and we see him as a real climbing talent and we are really happy to have him back in the team full time," said White.
"Nick is an exciting prospect and he is at an age where he will continue to develop for some years to come so it is really exciting to have him on our team moving forward."
Schultz earmarked the Ardennes Classic as a focus for next season, as well as supporting the team's leaders where possible.
"It will be very interesting to be a part of a team that has experience in delivering riders to podiums in Grand Tours and wins in the biggest one-day classics. Being part of this environment will be a major learning experience in itself. Personally, I hope to perform strongly in the Ardennes and provide reliable support to the GC riders in whatever stage races are on my program," he said.
"I think it goes without saying that to be a part of a team with the Yates brothers and Esteban Chaves is pretty special. It’s not only the big leaders who I’m excited to be along side though, every rider on the team has an asset that they bring to the table and I feel very privileged to be coming on board and learning from everyone."