Luke Durbridge is the latest rider to extend his contract with Mitchelton-Scott after penning a new deal with the Australian squad. Mitchelton-Scott’s men’s team have announced extensions with Sam Bewley, Jack Haig, Damien Howson, and Alex Edmondson in recent weeks.
Durbridge has been with the team since their inception in 2012, having been part of owner Gerry Ryan’s previous venture, Jayco-AIS.
“I am really excited to re-sign with Mitchelton-Scott. Our team has changed a lot over the years, we started out with a core group of Australians alongside some Europeans and we were more of a one-day race/Classics style team and we had some great success with that formula,” said Durbridge.
“Now we’re transitioning into a GC team as we saw with the win in the Vuelta and for me I think it really suits my role as a rider, especially in the back end of the season, to support our GC guys to what I hope will be more victories and Grand Tour success.”
Durbridge started his career on the track and won junior world titles in the Madison and Team Pursuit. His pursuit skills transferred out onto the road and he has twice won Australia’s national time trial title, in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, he backed that up with the road race title to become the first rider in over a decade to do the double. He has also helped Mitchelton-Scott to four medals in the team time trial at the World Championships.
In recent years, the 27-year-old has primarily worked as a support rider for Adam and Simon Yates, and Esteban Chaves. The cobbled Classics have also been a big focus for him and he believes that Mitchelton-Scott have a line-up that can work well in the spring.
“Personally, my focus hasn’t really changed, and I’m still really focused in the early season Classics and I feel that next year we can really step up. We have a relatively young group, but it’s a very strong one and I think we can achieve a lot over those spring races,” he said.
“For the Tour de France and other Grand Tours I’ll be slipping back into more of a domestique role and focus on my team time trialling and supporting Esteban and the Yates brothers – which I am really excited about. All in all, I am just really happy to have seen and been a part of the transition and development of this team from the very start until now.”
Mitchelton-Scott directeur sportif Matt White is happy to keep Durbridge on-board for at least two more years.
“Over the years Durbo has steadily developed and grown to become one of the leaders of our Classics group and an important personality within the team. We want very much to continue that progress together,” said White.
“We’ve watched him become one of the most consistent riders in the classics and after starting out as a pure time trialling talent he has really applied himself to evolve into the rider he is today.”