Matthews leads and Tuft returns for De Brabantse PijlTue 14 Apr 2015
Grand tour stage winner Michael Matthews will lead ORICA-GreenEDGE at the De Brabantse Pijl tomorrow, the last hit out before the Ardennes Classics starting on Sunday.
In other good news for the outfit, Canadian Svein Tuft will make his return to racing after being sidelined courtesy of a crash at the Tirreno-Adriatico last month.
The 205.4km De Brabantse Pijl, held in Belgium, features 26 ‘hellings’ or ‘hills’ and is one that more often than not finishes with a select group that sprints for victory. Last year, Matthews finished second behind Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) from a group of 13 riders.
The 24-year-old will again lead the ORICA-GreenEDGE team looking to continue his successful 2015 season that has included a stage and sprint classification victory at Paris-Nice, a stage win at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and 3rd at the Milano-Sanremo.
“This year we will go on the road with a leader in Matthews and we will bring him to the last kilometre in the best possible position,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.
“This is the opener for the Ardennes Classic and you can see there who's ready or not.
“It’s especially an important race mentally.”
Matthews will have the full support of some very experienced teammates, including Tuft, road captain Mathew Hayman straight from Paris-Roubaix and Brett Lancaster.
Also with vital roles will be former track world champions Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer, fellow Australian Damien Howson and Canadian Christian Meier.
ORICA-GreenEDGE at De Brabantse Pijl – La Flèche Brabançonne (14 April):