With a flat first stage as one of seven days of racing earmarked for the sprinters and a team time trial during the first week of racing, General Manager Shayne Bannan calls the 2013 Tour de France an exciting route with ample opportunity for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
“It certainly promises to be a fantastic bike race,” said Bannan. “It’s probably significantly harder than this year’s edition, but it definitely offers a lot of great opportunities for us. It will only be our second Tour de France, and we want to make an impact on what’s without a doubt the most important race in the world. It will be one our biggest goals of the year.”
Bannan outlines early objectives for the Tour squad.
“The set-up of the first week suits our ambition of trying to take our first yellow jersey,” he noted. “We obviously have our eyes on the stage four’s team time trial, and it means we will need to be up there from the beginning. Over the course of three weeks, there will be quite a few opportunities to hunt for stage wins and potentially one of the other jerseys for some days.”
While the team will continue to support Matt Goss in the sprints, other riders will be given the chance on stages that suit their strengths.
“Ultimately, we are not a GC [General Classification] team, but we will seek out every opportunity we have to be up there on most stages,” Bannan continued. “I definitely think we are growing into a team that’s ready to take on the Tour at a high level. This year has been a steep learning curve, but our results during the entire season and the experience that we have gathered this year give us a lot of optimism for our ambitions at next year’s Tour de France.”
The 2013 Tour de France by numbers:
+7 flat stages
+5 hilly stages
+6 mountain stages
+4 summit finishes
+1 team time trial
+2 individual time trials