A mix of young talent and experienced riders in the ORICA-SCOTT lineup for Paris-NiceThu 2 Mar 2017
ORICA-SCOTT return to Paris-Nice with options to tackle the diverse eight-day race which starts this Sunday.
Vuelta a España stage winner Simon Yates will get his 2017 season underway and will be the team’s main hope for general classification success, whilst 24-year-old Magnus Cort provides ORICA-SCOTT with an option for the initial flatter stages, having displayed his early season form with two victories already to his name this season.
“Magnus has shown already this season that he deserves to be our sprinter when the stages suit him,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “In Paris-Nice there are always a lot of top sprinters so there won’t be too much pressure on us to control everything and that is a good thing as we will also be looking to the overall.”
This year’s edition of the race sees the omission of the opening prologue event and instead the race kicks off with a 148kilometre flat stage followed by two other fairly straight forwards road stages, before heading into the mountains.
Stage four is likely to be the first day to really test general classification ambitions with a tough 14.5kilometre individual time trial that finishes up a steep three kilometre climb up to Mont Brouilly.
From there the race is expected to really light up with challenging summit finishs on stage six and on stage seven in Col de la Couillole, averaging 7.1 percent and reaching 1,678metres.
“The idea is to come with Simon Yates in the best possible position for the time trial stage and then from then on they are really hilly days with mountain top finishes,” Lapage continued. “I think if Simon can do a good time trial then he has a good chance for a good overall.”
“It will be his first race so we can arrive in Paris-Nice without too much pressure for the overall. It is a good race for Simon as later on when we arrive at the Grand Tours looking at the overall and him as a leader, you have to start early on and the other guys have to get used to working for Simon.”
The two talented youngsters will have an impressive and diverse support network around them with the experienced trio of Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman, former Australian champion Simon Gerrans and Leige-Baston-Leige runner up Michael Albasini.
“We have so much experience in the team,” said Lapage. “On these first flat stages someone can look for Simon and we still have three or four really good guys to bring Magnus in the best possible position for the sprint.”
“It’s a real mix of everything, we have the two young guys and then we have older really experienced guys.
"In this team you can see that we race with everybody and it is important that everybody wants to race for each other and we saw that a lot last year, that in this team it really works well that way.”
Boosting the strength and horse power will be Australian Mitch Docker, along with Danish rider Chris Juul-Jensen and Vuelta a España stage winner Jens Keukeleire, completing the versatile ORICA-SCOTT line-up.
Michael Albasini - (SUI, 36)
Magnus Cort - (DEN, 24)
Mitch Docker - (AUS, 30)
Simon Gerrans - (AUS, 36)
Mathew Hayman - (AUS, 38)
Chris Juul-Jensen - (DEN, 27)
Jens Keukeleire – (BEL, 28)
Simon Yates –(GB, 24)
Paris-Nice race details:
Sunday, 5th Mar: Stage 1, Bois-d’Arcy to Bois-d’Arcy, 148.5km
Monday, 6th Mar: Stage 2, Rochefort-en-Yvelines to Amilly, 192.5km
Tuesday, 7th Mar: Stage 3, Chablis to Chalon-sur-Saône, 190km
Wednesday, 8th Mar: Stage 4, Beaujeu to Mont Brolly, 14.5km
Thursday, 9th Mar: Stage 5, Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, 199.5km
Friday, 10th Mar: Stage 6, Aubagne to Fayence, 192km
Saturday, 11th Mar: Stage 7, Nice to Col de la Couillole, 177km
Sunday, 12 Mar: Stage 8, Nice to Nice, 115.5km