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Yates brothers and Chaves to lead Mitchelton-Scott at Volta a Catalunya

The star trio of Esteban Chaves, Adam Yates and Simon Yates will headline Mitchelton-Scott's roster at the Volta a Catalunya, which starts on Monday, the team has announced.

They spearhead a strong line-up for the Australian squad, who will surely be heading to Spain with ambitions to win the week-long stage race with three potential general classification contenders.

Catalunya will be Chaves' second WorldTour stage race of the season, having also ridden Paris-Nice, and the race marks another step on the road back from what was an eight-month lay-off caused by the mononucleosis virus. The Colombian returned to racing in February at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, which was his first event since the 2018 Giro d'Italia.

Meanwhile, the Yates brothers have seen success already this season, with Adam winning a stage at the Volta a Valenciana and taking second place at last week's Tirreno-Adriatico, after a heartbreakingly close final time trial. Simon has won a stage at both the Ruta del Sol and Paris-Nice, as well as the mountains classification at the former.

"We are sending a super strong team to Catalunya, and there's no time trial, which is convenient," said Adam Yates in a statement released by the team, referring – perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek – to him losing Tirreno to Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic by just one second.

"We didn't come away with the overall win in Tirreno recently, but we took a stage win and held the leader's jersey for almost the whole race, so it bodes well for the team and the team's confidence in me before Catalunya," he said.

The race is the first showdown of the season for a number of GC superstars, with several Giro d'Italia and Tour de France candidates all lining up at the start in Calella. Chris Froome, Egan Bernal (both Team Sky), Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana (both Movistar), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) are just some of the big names at the race.

Summit finishes at Valter 2000 – last seen in 2014 when Tejay van Garderen took the win – and La Molina, upon which Alejandro Valverde and Dan Martin have triumphed in recent years, will prove the biggest challenges of the week.

"It looks like a super hard race, and we have some good climbers coming to the race," said Adam Yates. "The climb to Vallter 2000 isn't too far from Andorra, so a lot of guys know this climb and know how hard it is. I have done it in the past – in 2014, I think, which was the first year I did Catalunya – so it is a super hard climb and a stage that can be crucial.

"Simon has shown he's going well in Paris-Nice, obviously winning the TT there, and we have a good, strong team, so we will have strength in numbers and hopefully we can do something."

Daryl Impey, a stage winner in 2017, and Michael Albasini, who won the race outright back in 2012, are among the other notable names in the Mitchelton-Scott squad.

Mitchelton-Scott squad for the 2019 Volta a CatalunyaMichael Albasini, Esteban Chaves, Tsgabu Grmay, Daryl Impey, Dion Smith, Adam Yates, Simon Yates

Corrected to reflect that the Volta a Catalunya is not Esteban Chaves' first WorldTour event since last year's Giro d'Italia, as he also took part in this season's Paris-Nice.

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