In a curious twist for the Australian Cycling Team, former high-performance manager Shayne Bannan will be the general manager of the national team at the world championships in Imola, Italy this week.


Earlier this year, Shayne Bannan was managing negotiations with a consortium from Spain known as the Manuela Fundaciòn. The quest was to secure new funding for the pro cycling team known as Mitchelton-Scott in 2020. A ‘heads of terms’ agreement was signed and a press release issued explaining the pending name change for the Australian-registered WorldTour team.

A jersey was designed and team vehicles were being stripped so that the new sponsor’s colours and logo could be applied for what was meant to be a changeover this June.

Then, almost as soon as it began, the partnership came to a grinding halt.

On 17 June 2020, the Mitchelton-Scott team’s benefactor and owner, Gerry Ryan – although quoted in the initial release – reiterated that claims of ownership changes were not correct. Then, on 19 June, Ryan announced that the relationship with Manuela Fundaciòn was over.

On 1 July, Bannan was moved on from his role as GM and replaced by Brent Copeland, a South African who had worked for the Bahrain-McLaren team for several years.

Bannan has been based in Italy for over 20 years and he remains heavily involved in cycling despite being moved on from a WorldTour team which he helped establish during the 2011 season, with its debut in the peloton coming in January 2012.

Before the GreenEdge project began, Bannan was in charge of the Australian national cycling teams, taking on the role of high-performance manager after Charlie Walsh’s retirement from elite cycling following the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Now, 20 years later, Bannan is back with the national team and “running the show” at the world championships in Italy this week. RIDE Media has been told that, for the short-term at least, the former HP manager will take over the role with the Australian Cycling Team that has been held by Brad McGee in recent years.

McGee had originally been scheduled to fly to Italy around 10 days ago, but RIDE Media understands that he was hesitant to travel from Australia given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

A suitable replacement, ideally one based in Italy, was required and that’s when Bannan emerged as a candidate. “He’s done that job before and he knows the scene and the team well,” Steve Drake, CEO of Cycling Australia, told RIDE Media yesterday.

Although his departure from the trade team, Mitchelton-Scott, was rapid – and rather unceremoniously – Bannan is still highly regarded by many in Australian cycling.

The general manager of the Australian Cycling Team, Paul Brosnan, is said to be handling the staffing changes required for the 2020 worlds. RIDE Media has sought comment about the exact arrangements, and it is understood that no staff will fly from Australia to Italy for the championships. This is in keeping with the position taken by Cycling Australia earlier in the year when it announced that no junior (under-19) team will contest the worlds in 2020 because of issues relating to travel and the pandemic.

“In this COVID environment, our priority is the health and safety of the team,” said Drake.

RIDE Media understands that “five or six” of the staff for the national team this week will come from Mitchelton-Scott although no names were mentioned.


On 2 September, the UCI announced that Imola-Emilia Romagna would host the 2020 championships, which have been moved from Switzerland to Italy because of issues relating to the pandemic. Swiss authorities banned mass gatherings in September. “Major events with more than 1,000 visitors or involving more than 1,000 people are not permitted until 30 September 2020.”

A week after Imola was revealed as the new location for the worlds, the Australian Cycling Team unveiled its line-ups (see below).

Women’s Road Race

  • Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
  • Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Shara Marche (née Gillow) (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
  • Rachel Neylan (Cronos Casa Dorada Women Cycling)
  • Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott)

Men’s Road Race

  • Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling)
  • Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb)
  • Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott)
  • Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
  • Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

Women’s Time Trial

  • Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott)

Men’s Time Trial

  • Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers)
  • Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott)


With a road race circuit that suits strong climbers, the Australian team features a few favourites, including the recent podium finisher at the Tour de France, Richie Porte, and the ever-aggressive Amanda Spratt who is expected to make a return to racing after crashing out of the Giro Rosa with only a few stages to go.

Futhermore, with Rohan Dennis, the national team has a defending world champion in the TT, with the South Australian looking for a hat-trick of victories in 2020.

2020 UCI Road World Championships Schedule

  • Thursday 24 September: Women Elite individual time trial
  • Friday 25 September: Men Elite individual time trial
  • Saturday 26 September: Women Elite road race
  • Sunday 27 September: Men Elite road race