In His Own Words: Sport Director Matt White Previews Tour of Alberta

Mon 2 Sep 2013

ORICA-GreenEDGE ventures into North America once again for more racing action. This time the squad heads to Canada where the riders will contest a series of three races beginning with the Tour of Alberta. The six day tour in Alberta combined with two WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal will give the team a solid block of racing to prepare for its late season goals.

The Tour of Alberta will start in Edmonton on Tuesday and will end in Calgary on Sunday. In between the race will travel through rural Alberta, taking in villages, towns and small cities along the way. The UCI 2.1 race will cover terrain varying from open prairies to rolling foothills to the Canadian Rockies.

In his own words, Sport Director Matt White gives us his take on the Alberta.

I think the team is really excited to go to Canada. It’s a shame our two Canadians can’t join us though. While we’re here on their home territory, Christian [Meier] is busy chasing down breaks at the Vuelta and Svein [Tuft] is prepping for the World Championships.

This part of Canada is all new to me, so I’m not that familiar with the race. Looking at the profile, I can say we will be targeting the GC with Cameron Meyer or Pieter Weening. If we get stage wins with Aidis [Kruopis], who was sick last week and may not be at top form as a result, that will be a bonus. Look for Heppy [Michael Hepburn] to be in the top five in the prologue.

Cam has been building his form since San Sebastian for a block that starts now and ends in Beijing. Pieter is on form and has been for some time now. Both of them are in great shape, and I think either of them has a good shot for a top five overall result.  

Aside from our guys, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will be a red hot favourite after Colorado. He’s going to be the fastest guy here, and he can climb, too, if the climbs aren’t too selective. Every team will be thinking the same thing – if we go to the finish with Sagan, it’s second for us. That will make things either incredibly boring or incredibly interesting in terms of how the easier days are raced.

Stages four and five will probably be the toughest stages of the tour. I think they could be quite selective, but the climbs are not super close to the finish. Most likely we’ll see a reduced bunch at the line, although it will really depend on a few factors: mood of the bunch, exposure (wind or not) and altitude.

Overall, this will be a great block for us. The two Canadian WorldTour races are very important, and we have a few guys racing this and then staying on for the two one day races. Three of the guys here are preparing for the Worlds.

This race plus the two WorldTour races is probably the best build-up we could put together after the Tour of Spain. I think Alberta is going to be an aggressive five days of racing, which is just what we need.

If we get a stage win, then the tour will have been a success. I’d love to see Pieter or Cam on the podium for GC as well. Honestly, our goal is to do both.

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour of Alberta:

Aidis Kruopis
Cameron Meyer
Fumy Beppu
Jiyong Kang
Michael Hepburn
Pieter Weening
Tomas Vaitkus