Juggling act to support ORICA-SCOTT youth at Giro d’ItaliaMon 1 May 2017
Two of ORICA-SCOTT’s most promising young riders will lead the team’s ambitions at the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia starting this Friday.
24-year-old Adam Yates, who last year won the Tour de France best young rider’s white jersey, will ride for a strong general classification result whilst the team will also support 22-year-old speedster Caleb Ewan in the sprint finishes.
“We will mix our focus between Adam in the mountains and Caleb on the flat stages,” sport director Matt White said. “It’s a tricky mix, but we aren’t the only people doing it and I am confident with the group we have we can chase both goals with success. We will certainly have something to concentrate on every day for the next three weeks.”
The century edition of Italy’s Grand Tour comes with much prestige and as a result has attracted a top field of general classification riders. The start list and an extremely difficult final week will make the overall victory a challenging task for any rider.
“We certainly don’t go in as the favourites for the general classification,” White admitted. “Even though we’ve had a couple of big names pull out, it’s still the best field ever assembled. It’s easier to list who’s not at the Giro than who is, so it’s an all-star cast.”
“It will be Adam’s first Giro d’Italia and it continues his learning process which means we can approach it in a different mindset.
“I think winning the white jersey and a top-10 finish are very achievable goals for him to have.”
Critical to Yates’ final result, particularly in the third week of racing, will be Spanish duo Carlos Verona and Ruben Plaza, who last year played a major role in helping teammate Esteban Chaves to second overall.
“Carlos is going to be crucial and Ruben has recovered from surgery in the off season to be there to offer guidance and experience. He was very reliable with Esteban last year, so we would expect to see the same again,” White said.
Starting on the island of Sardinia, the opening stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia has a big potential to finish in a bunch sprint, with the opportunity to claim the first maglia rosa of the 100th edition capturing the eyes of the sprinters who will line up.
“(Andre) Greipel and (Fernando) Gaviria are our big sprint rivals this year,” White said. “In Caleb's second Giro we can really target winning a stage when the opportunities arise and that will start on stage one with the Maglia Rosa the bonus for the winner.”
Supporting Ewan in the sprints will be fellow Australian Alexander Edmondson who has received the call up for his debut Grand Tour thanks to impressive performances in recent weeks, particularly at the Tour de Romandie last week.
The reward is the second of its kind for Edmondson this season, after he was added to the Paris-Roubaix team last month.
"This is Alex's first full year will a 100% road focus and we have been really impressed with his commitment and performances so quickly. He is someone we believe in and know he is ready to step up for his first Grand Tour.
“Alex and Luka Mezgec are there specifically for the finals with Caleb and then we have versatility of Michael Hepburn and Chris Juul-Jensen and strength and power of Svein Tuft to work across both ambitions.”
ORICA-SCOTT at the Giro d’Italia (5th – 28th May):
Alexander Edmondson (AUS, 23)
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 22)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 25)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 27)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)
Ruben Plaza (SPA, 37)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 39)
Carlos Verona (SPA, 24)
Adam Yates (GBR, 24)
Giro d’Italia - Stages
Friday, 5th May: Stage 1 – Alghero to Olbia (206km)
Saturday, 6th May: Stage 2 – Olbia to Tortoli (221km)
Sunday, 7th May: Stage 3 – Tortoli to Cagliari (148km)
Monday, 8th May: Rest/Transfer Day
Tuesday, 9th May: Stage 4 – Cefalu to Etna (181km)
Wednesday, 10th May: Stage 5 – Pedara to Messina (159km)
Thursday, 11th May: Stage 6 – Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane (217km)
Friday, 12th May: Stage 7 – Castrovillari to Alberobello (224km)
Saturday, 13th May: Stage 8 – Molfetta to Peschici (189km)
Sunday, 14th May: Stage 9 – Montenero di Bisaccia to Blockhaus (149km)
Monday, 15th May; Rest Day
Tuesday, 16th May: Stage 10 – Foligno to Montefalco ITT (39.8km)
Wednesday, 17th May: Stage 11 – Firenze to Bagno di Romagna (161km)
Thursday, 18th May: Stage 12 – Forli to Reggio Emilia (229km)
Friday, 19th May: Stage 13 – Reggio Emilia to Tortona (167km)
Saturday, 20th May: Stage 14 – Castellania to Oropa (131km)
Sunday, 21st May: Stage 15 – Valdengo to Bergamo (199km)
Monday, 22nd May: Rest Day
Tuesday, 23rd May: Stage 16 – Rovetta to Mornio (222km)
Wednesday, 24th May: Stage 17 – Tirano to Canazei (219km)
Thursday, 25th May: Stage 18 – Moena to Ortisei/St. Ulrich (137km)
Friday, 26th May: Stage 19 – San Candido/Innichen to Piancavallo (191km)
Saturday, 27th May: Stage 20 – Pordenone to Asiago (190km)
Sunday, 28th May: Stage 21 – Monza to Milano ITT (29.3km)