ORICA-GreenEDGE prepared to perform in Paris-NiceThu 3 Mar 2016
ORICA-GreenEDGE head into the 74th edition of Paris-Nice with options to tackle the diverse stage race which starts this Sunday.
A six week gap since the first WorldTour event, Paris-Nice marks the start of WorldTour stage racing in Europe. The eight-day race opens once again with a prologue before the riders take on a variety of stages on their way over to Nice.
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage is happy with the team heading into the event.
"We have a strong team coming to the start of Paris-Nice. This includes Michael Albasini, Daryl Impey, Michael Matthews so I think we have a really good balanced team."
Stages one, two and four have the potential to be sprint finishes, which are welcomed by last year's points classification winner Matthews, who begins his 2016 season here.
"Michael started his season at Paris-Nice last year," explained Lapage. "He is a rider who is training really well and is professional during the off season, and we saw last year he was ready to race here. I think he is prepared for a good Paris-Nice again."
23-year-old Simon Yates will be the team's main hope for general classification success with support from the experienced Spaniard Amets Txurruka. Australian Mitch Docker joins New Zealander Sam Bewley in bringing strength and lead out skills to the roster, with Danish rider Magnus Cort completing the versatile line up.
"With the race not having a hard time trial on the last day it's a great thing for Matthews to also have a go for a good overall. That's something we are going to see throughout the week."
The absence of a hill time trial on the last stage means the general classification has the potential to be left more open until the final days. Tough hill top finishes on stage three and five, and the addition of a 15.3km summit finish; La Madone d'Utelle on stage six, will make it a battle between the GC contenders going into the final days racing.
The race begins with a 6.1km prologue starting Sunday 6th March.
ORICA-GreenEDGE team at Paris-Nice (6th-13th Mar):
Paris-Nice Race Details:
Sunday, 6th Mar: Prologue, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 6.1 km
Monday, 7th Mar: Stage 1, Condé-sur-Vesgre to Vendôme, 195km
Tuesday, 8th Mar: Stage 2, Contres to Commentry, 214km
Wednesday, 9th Mar: Stage 3, Cusset to Mont Brouilly, 165.5 km
Thursday, 10th Mar: Stage 4, Juliénas to Romans-sur-Isère, 193.5 km
Friday, 11th Mar: Stage 5, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Salon-de-Provence, 198 km
Saturday, 12th Mar: Stage 6, Nice to La Madone d'Utelle, 177 km
Sunday, 13th Mar: Stage 7, Nice to Nice, 141 km