Classic Sud Ardeche and La Drome make it a weekend full of European racing for ORICA-GreenEDGE

Wed 24 Feb 2016

ORICA-GreenEDGE travel to the Ardeche region of France this week for a pair of races that officially open the French racing calendar.

The Classic Sud Ardeche, also known as Souvenir Francis Delpach takes place on Saturday 27th of February followed by La Drome on Sunday 28th of February.

Traditionally these one-day races are punchy and aggressive and the team will be looking to bridge the gap from the altitude training camp in South Africa to the realization of the early season goals.

Last season Daryl Impey was the team’s best finisher at the Classic Sud Ardeche with sixth place. Impey got in amongst a breakaway of 14 riders on the penultimate lap of the race. The group pushed on and extended their lead over the peloton by nearly a minute going into the last lap. Before Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Seche Environment) and Julien Loubet (Marseille 13 KTM) attacked close to the line with Sepulveda taking the win.

Sports director David McPartland was clear about the team’s objectives.

"These are an important couple of races for us where all the guys will be aiming to get through and fine tune their form,” McPartland said. “Getting a result and maybe someone on the podium will be a bonus for us.”

“Last year these races served their purpose well and this is our goal again this year.

“The boys are all super motivated having just had a great three week block at training camp. Now we are ready to start in Europe.”

The team arrives in France with a strong and versatile lineup to suit the fast and rolling parcours of the Ardeche region. Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian winner Adam Yates returns along with twin brother Simon Yates and Tour of Abu Dhabi winner Esteban Chaves.

 2014 Giro d’Italia stage winner Luka Mezgec is making his debut for the team as is Tour of Norway stage winner Amets Txurruka. Stalwarts Michael Albasini, Impey and Christian Meier complete the team.

It is set to be an action packed weekend of racing for ORICA-GreenEDGE with the team competing simultaneously in France and Belgium. The European season is definitely here.

ORICA-GreenEDGE at Classic Sud Ardeche and La Drome Classic (27-28 Feb):

Michael Albasini (SUI, 35)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 26)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 30)
Christian Meier (CAN, 31)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 27)
Amets Txurruka (ESP, 32)
Simon Yates (GBR, 23)
Adam Yates (GBR, 23)