Gallant La Drome Classic for ORICA-GreenEDGE

Sun 1 Mar 2015

ORICA-GreenEDGE has finished outside the top ten at La Drome Classic in France today, despite a gallant effort by the outfit from the front of the peloton.

2013 Italian champion Ivan Santaromita was the team’s highest placed finisher in 12th, behind Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) who won solo after an attack on the final climb.

“Going through the hills we had Simon and Adam Yates, Ivan (Santaromita) and Daryl Impey still in contention,” sport director David McPartland said.

“Simon popped and then the serious attacks began with 20km to go, ones we felt on the road at the time we needed to go with.

“Adam covered that but in the process that cooked him and he went from the front of the race to out the back.

“Over the final climb before the run in, the remaining select group split in three but with the first two regrouping, Ivan was still at the front.  In the end he just didn’t have the legs to go with them on the final punchy run in and finished twelfth.”

The day’s early move went away without too much resistance but was only given an advantage of five minutes 45seconds at the 50km mark before being stabilised.

The initial quartet crumbled under the pressure of the chase and by the bottom of the longest climb of the day with 30km remaining, it was Quentin Pacher (Equipe Cycliste Armee de Terre) and Ben Gastauer (AG2R La Mondiale) with 30seconds advantage.

ORICA-GreenEDGE sent troops to the front of the peloton and reeled the pair in on the following climb.

“It was a decision that was made on the road,” McPartland said.

“It gave us more control over that period of the race. Instead of having to respond to the moves and the attacks, we had numbers there, seven guys there, and the horsepower to do that.”

A counter attack by Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) marked the beginning of countless attacks before a group of five established a narrow lead to a chase group of eight, including Santaromita, over the penultimate climb.

The two groups briefly reformed before the punchy two-kilometre finale saw fireworks and the winning move by Dumoulin.