Mitchelton-Scott has announced a youthful team for Vuelta al Pais Vasco with all bar Michael Albasini under 30 years of age. The 37-year-old Albasini will an important road captain for the team of youthful climbers and the versatile Chris Juul-Jensen. The Australian trio of Jack Haig, Lucas Hamilton and Rob Power round out the team.
Carlos Verona completes the seven-rider roster and will be on home roads during the six-stage race starting Monday in Zarautz. Despite the team losing Adam Yates to injury, 25-year-old Verona is expecting a strong showing from Mitchelton-Scott.
"I have done Pais Vasco every year since I became pro in 2013, so this will be my sixth participation and it is always a challenging race. I think it is the WorldTour race where the climbing level is higher as there's hardly any opportunities for the sprinters. The steep and short climbs, the narrow roads and one of the most enthusiastic cycling crowds, it's the Basque Country," said Verona.
"Volta Catalunya was almost the first race of the season for me and I felt so good, after a easy week at home the form can't be so different, I am healthy and motivated so I hope to be at my best in the Basque Country."
With Albasini and Daryl Impey, the Australian WorldTour has previously won stages of the race and in 2015 Simon Yates placed fifth overall. With a roster of riders suited to the parcours of the Basque Country, Verona believes the team's recent run of winning stages in European WorldTour stage races can continue.
"In general we have a young and strong team. We will miss Adam Yates, he was supposed to be our team leader during the week, but with the horse power that we have and with the guidance of our team captain Michael Albasini, I think we can keep up the good work that the team is doing since the start of the season in all the stage races that we have done," he added.
"I think we have more than one rider capable of winning a stage and also do a good general classification result, so now it's time to have fun, play our cards and try to get the best of this new edition of beautiful Basque Country."
Mitchelton-Scott for Vuelta al Pais Vasco: Michael Albasini and Jack Haig, Lucas Hamilton, Chris Juul-Jensen, Robert Power and Carlos Verona.