It’s certainly been a successful week for the ORICA-GreenEDGE camp. We’re hoping to continue the momentum in Plouay this weekend.
Our line up for GP Ouest France includes two former winners. Matt Goss won this race two years ago. Three years ago, it was Simon Gerrans on the top step. Simon finished second last year, leading in the sprint one second down on race winner Grega Bole. With Gerrans and Gossy, we have a two-pronged attack for the two most likely scenarios we’ll see at the finish.
The race is an expanded version of the course used at the World Championships in 2000. The course has been altered, and it seems more challenging than previous editions. This year, the course includes an extra climb closer the finish, and I think it could make a real difference. Despite a lot of meters of climbing, the race typically ends in a smaller bunch sprint. This additional climb may be enough to tip the race in favor of the more punchy climbers.
Traditionally, the final climb sets the scene for a lot of hard attacks. A break will go and stay away or get caught just before the line. We have Simon for the break, and if things come back together, we’ll look to Gossy. A lot of sprinters stay away from Plouay these days because it’s too difficult to make it over the climbs. Gossy is one of the best sprinters when it comes to this type of course, and we can count on him to make it over them with the bunch.
Michael Albasini should be included in this context, too. He has had one of his best seasons to date and gives us a third card to play. The rest of the guys are in Plouay to support our team objectives and the chances of Simon, Gossy and Alba.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for GP Ouest France: