ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS have named their team time trial rosters for the Road World Championships in Holland. Both the men and women’s squads field a competitive roster capable of finishing on the podium.
“We had a few camps to allow us to determine the selection of our roster,” said Sports Director Matt White. “In the end, the team essentially selected itself. The six riders we have in Holland were all able to handle the workload that this challenge demands.”
Two national time trial champions are amongst the ORICA-GreenEDGE squad. Australian National Time Trial Champion Luke Durbridge and Canadian National Time Trial Champion Svein Tuft are joined by Cameron Meyer, Sam Bewley, Sebastian Langeveld and Jens Mouris.
The women’s team, ORICA-AIS, field an equally impressive roster with the World Time Trial Champion, Judith Arndt, set to lead a squad that counts Worlds silver medalist Linda Villumsen and Australian National Time Trial Champion Shara Gillow amongst its ranks.
“Our preliminary roster includes Ardnt, Villumsen and Gillow joined by Alex Rhodes, Melissa Hoskins and Loes Gunnewijk,” said Sports Director Martin Barras. “Claudia Häusler is the reserve rider. We will confirm our line-up after the Holland Tour mostly as a matter of health and injury.”
With only 11 riders at his disposal, Barras’ selection process was different that that employed by White.
“We ran a week-long training camp last week with seven riders on the World Championships course,” he explained. “We worked on technique and identifying the limitations in which we have to work with each rider. As with the men’s team, our final selection came out of the training camp.”
Both White and Barras maintain that this particular team time trial poses unique challenges.
“This is a special course,” noted Barras. “Traditionally, team time trials are held on flatter, straighter courses to allow teams to express sheer power. This course is almost the opposite. We face two substantial climbs, including the Cauberg, over a technical circuit. The tactics and techniques we need are different than what we’ve employed in other team time trials we’ve raced this year.”
“We’re looking at what will amount to a one hour effort for the men,” added White. “There are very few riders of this generation with experience racing team time trials of that distance. When included in races, most team time trials are 15-30 kilometers long. The length alone is a challenge. A lot of teams are struggling to put six guys into top condition for that type of effort at this time of year.”
With team time trial wins at Tirreno-Adriatico and Eneco Tour, ORICA-GreenEDGE has shown its strength and pride in this discipline. White expects his squad to podium and believes the win is within reach.
“If the guys ride to their ability, they will be right in the mix for the win,” said White. “We’re lucky to have a lot of talent for this discipline and we’ve planned well to keep riders fresh for this objective. The team has put forth significant effort in preparing for success in this discipline.”
ORICA-AIS will take to the starthouse as the underdogs, having finished second to Specialized-lululemon in three match-ups throughout the season.
“Winning is a difficult but attainable task,” said Barras. “The reality is that in every major team time trial we’ve raced, we’ve come in second. We’ve done specific training, and we go into Worlds looking to close that gap further and open one on the other side.”
The team time trial returns to the World Championships after an 18-year absence and represents a unique opportunity for teams to showcase their winning ways.
“We would obviously see great honor in being the first trade team to win the World Team Time Trial Championships,” said White. “Winning would be a great way to cap off what has already been a stellar first year.”