ORICA-BikeExchange round off the 2016 season at the Tour of Abu DhabiMon 17 Oct 2016
ORICA-BikeExchange return to the Tour of Abu Dhabi next week with a strong and versatile squad looking to wrap up an incredibly successful season with a good performance in the four day race.
2015 saw Esteban Chaves take the overall victory in the first edition of the race, after winning stage three followed by a controlled team performance in the fourth and final stage to seal the Colombians first senior general classification victory.
New signing Carlos Verona will be the overall contender for ORICA-BikeExchange for this year’s race as the team looks to give the 23-year-old Spaniard an opportunity to gain first hand experience as a protected rider.
Verona will be supported by a strong, youthful team that is filled with options for the sprint stages, including Grand Tour stage winners, Magnus Cort, Jens Keukeliere, Luka Mezgec and Michael Matthews.
Australian lead out specialist Mitch Docker completes the six-man team with sport director Laurenzo Lapage looking forward to four days of tough racing in the United Arab Emirates.
“Of course after winning the first edition of the race last year we would like to continue with a positive result this time around,” said Lapage. “It will be difficult, we have a young team and there will be a tough field of competition, but the attitude within the squad is always positive and relaxed.”
“We go into the race with confidence after a great season, probably our most successful since the teams inception. We have great options for Abu Dhabi, it’s a very fast squad and I’m excited to see how we perform on the sprint stages.
“Carlos (Verona) has settled in well with the team and this race will provide a nice opportunity for him to test himself in a leadership role and also to gain some vital experience by racing for the general classification.
“Michael (Matthews) just missed out on the podium at the World Championships yesterday after finishing in fourth place, but he is showing some good form and we hope he can carry that into the last race of the season.”
The 2016 edition will cover 555kilomtres over four days of racing as the route moves between the Abu Dhabi coastline and the inland desert. Three out of the four stages will be targeted by the sprinters, whilst stage three is classed as a medium mountain stage.
ORICA-BikeExchange at the Tour of Abu Dhabi (10020th – 23rd of October):
Magnus Cort (DEN, 23)
Mitch Docker (AUS, VIC, 29)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 27)
Michael Matthews (AUS, ACT, 26)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)
Carlos Verona (ESP, 23)
2016 Tour of Abu Dhabi stages:
Thurs, 20th October: Stage 1, Madinat Zayed, 174km.
Fri, 21st October: Stage 2, Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi (Al Marina), 129km.
Sat, 22nd October: Stage 3, Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet, 142km.
Sun, 23rd October: Stage 4, Yas Marina Circuit, 110km.