In His Own Words: Mitch Docker Previews Vuelta a BurgosMon 5 Aug 2013
ORICA-GreenEDGE heads to Vuelta a Burgos for five days of varied racing. The Spanish Tour will provide a good hit out for the team’s seven rider squad ahead of important later season targets. In his own words, Mitch Docker describes what he expects from the team in Spain.
Burgos is a good little race that covers sprint stages and a bit more lumpy terrain. Even the sprint stages are hard because this area of Spain is rather windy. The last day will be epic. It’s the queen stage, and it’s definitely a difficult day on the bike.
We start this race with seven riders. I would call us an all-round sort of team. Everyone can do a little bit of everything. I think our set-up is suited to this style of racing.
Leigh Howard and I are coming off of Poland in good condition. We’re used to working with each other in the sprints by now. Allan Davis will provide experience to the train on the flatter stages. He’s had a light program this year, but he’s recently done some high altitude training, and I think he’s coming up on good form.
Jens Keukeleire and Fumy Beppu will also prove useful on the sprint days. We might know Jens as a sprinter, but he’s quite versatile. He can handle climbing better than pure sprinters. He was doing some high altitude training prior to racing London last weekend, and it sounds like his build for the second half of the season is well underway. He’s a good guy in the not so typical sprints – a bit of a wildcard on a reduced bunch type of day.
Daniel Teklehaimanot recently won his first European professional race. Although he started his season late, his win at Villafranca shows that he’s super fit right now. The team will look for him to have a crack on the hillier stages, and he’s probably the only guy we have for the last day of racing. Although the general classification isn’t a specific focus, he’s got a shot at a decent result on the overall if he does well on the queen stage.
Christian Meier took a mid-season break to head back to Canada where he did some racing and training and recharged for the second half of the season. London was his first race back, and he did a lot of good work on the front for the team. We know he’s on track for his later season goals.
Having said all that, Leigh and I are the two most focused on the sprints and Daniel is our only chance for the general classification. Looking at the stages on paper, I think we’ll have three bunch sprints and two more selective days. We’d all be happy to leave here with a stage victory, and the sprint days could be our best chance.
While Burgos isn’t what I’d call a huge focus, it’s an important test of form before the Vuelta a España and other later season goals. We’re all looking to improve our fitness. Any results we can achieve in the process would be a bonus.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Vuelta a Burgos: