Two-time 2019 Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates will start his 2020 season in Australia, for the first time since joining Mitchelton-Scott, before rebuilding for a return to the Giro d’Italia.

Bury Clarion rider Yates will complete a full Australian campaign, kick-starting in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under, before heading to Victoria for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and a mountainous Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

After spending 13 days in the Maglia Rosa in 2018 and failing to meet his own expectations, finishing eighth in 2019, the 2018 Vuelta a España champion, pictured, will return for the third consecutive season to the Giro d’Italia, on his way to another key season target, the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I have always wanted to do the Aussie summer,” said the 27-year-old. “Of course riding for an Australian team there is more pressure, but I really enjoy getting stuck into racing and giving it a good go. With these being our home races, the boys are super motivated to give everything.

“I would love to hit the ground running, so when any opportunities to take my own chances come, I hope to grab them with both hands.

“After competing in both the Giro and the Tour last season, I was extremely tired and so we decided as a team to stop earlier than normal to give myself the best possible preparation for 2020. Winter has been going great so far and I have just finished a very important block of training in Gran Canaria, but I will fly out early to Australia to be able to adapt to the heat.”

After running Chris Froome close in 2018, Yates struggled with inconsistent form during last year’s Giro, opening with an outstanding time trial but losing sight of overall victory in the second time trial, finishing more than three minutes down to drop to 24th overall.

And he admits he cannot wait to try to make it third time lucky.

“The Giro is a race with a lot of charm and character,” he added. “The fans are passionate, the parcours are amazing and it always produces exciting aggressive racing, which I enjoy.

“Last year I just felt I never really got to the level I expect of myself, I want to go back in the best shape possible and try again. That, and along with the Olympics coming so close to the Tour de France this year; I believe the best way to approach the Olympics would be to do the Giro.

“The 2020 route is a very traditional course with a lot of time trialing kilometres, and many high-altitude mountain passes. We will have to prepare for anything to happen.

“The aim is to have the condition and shape that I know I can have, and give everything I have, which I hope will give me the best possible chance of winning.”