Mitchelton-Scott have announced changes to their directeur sportif line-up with lead women’s DS Gene Bates set to move over to the men’s squad for 2019. Bates has been working with the women’s team for the past five years and has been instrumental in building them up to be one of the top teams in the peloton.
This season, the team won the individual ranking in the women’s WorldTour with Annemiek van Vleuten, who won the Giro Rosa and La Course, among other races. They also found success with Amanda Spratt, who finished third at the Giro Rosa, and sprinter Jolien D’hoore – who is set to leave the team at the end of the year. Having finished fourth in the WorldTour team rankings in 2017, Mitchelton-Scott took second behind Boels Dolmans this year.
Bates will fill the gap left on the Mitchelton-Scott men's team by Neil Stephens, who left earlier this year. He will also remain in place as the Mitchelton-Scott women's team’s performance manager.
“I’m looking forward to new challenges and a new calendar of races the most,” Bates said. “I think the men’s team is entering an exciting period ahead, with a real GC focus, and multiple riders capable of winning the overall at Grand Tours. Of course, I am nervous, but I think it’s good practice to change and become uncomfortable again.
“My time with the women’s team has been one of the most challenging but rewarding periods actually. We set out to achieve something big, to really develop what we had and raise the bar in lots of different areas.
“Certainly there were times when I was wondering if what I was doing was right and we were going in the right direction, but I always had great support around me, and now when I look back on the last years I’m proud of where the team is, and where it can go.”
Replacing Bates in the women’s team will be Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas, who has been working as a road coach for the past seven years at the UCI’s World Cycling Centre.
“Mitchelton-Scott had a very successful season in 2018 and became one of the best teams in the women’s WorldTour classification. Joining this team means a logical step in my career as DS and coach,” said Gonzalez-Tablas.
“I’m really looking forward to helping to develop successful performance protocols that will help the team achieve the important goals of the season, but also I’m looking forward to working with the group that has been assembled and that has been so successful this year and keep that progression line positive for 2019.”