Mixed Squad, Multiple Objectives for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Tour de RomandieMon 28 Apr 2014
ORICA-GreenEDGE will start the Tour de Romandie, set in the beautiful French-speaking region of the Swiss countryside, with a competitive squad looking for stage wins ahead of the Giro d’Italia. The six day WorldTour race serves a dual purpose for the peloton: it provides a barometer of fitness for the Tour de France overall contenders and serves as final preparation for the men with ambitions at the Giro d’Italia.
In the previous three editions of the Tour de Romandie, the overall victor has gone on to win the Tour in July. For those eyeing yellow as the peloton rolls into Paris, the timing of Romandie fits perfectly into the schedule. They can perform at a high level and then rest and readjust before the final push to France. Riders racing the Giro must strike a delicate balance between their need for a last hit-out ahead of the first Grand Tour and their need to keep something in the tank ahead of a three consecutive weeks of racing.
“It’s too intense of a race right before the Giro,” explained Sport Director Neil Stephens. “If the overall contenders go too hard here, they’ll flop in Italy. Romandie is really demanding as it’s set in some beautiful mountains, and it is raced really hard.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE fields a mixed squad of riders in Romandie. Amongst the team’s eight starters include riders coming off a very successful campaign in the Ardennes and riders that are preparing for the Giro. Of particular interest is the addition of current Mountain Bike World Champion, Nino Schurter, to the ORICA-GreenEDGE roster.
“Nino is a professional, astute athlete,” said Stephens. “He’s the best in the world in his sport of mountain biking, and he’s now shown a strong desire to try to fit in on the WorldTour. He and his sponsors have gone through a great effort to make this happen. I think we’ll see a reflection of that on the road. He’s obviously a guy with a lot of physical talent and passion. People with assets like that tend to succeed. We’re looking forward to seeing that unfold.”
“I’m looking forward to riding with Nino,” added Michael Albasini of his compatriot. “It’ll be interesting to see how a top mountain biker will fit into our team and in the peloton. For sure he is very strong. Once he is acclimated to the road, he will be able to make some small results."
Following top ten general classification results last year at Tour of Turkey, Amgen Tour of California and Tour de Suisse, Cameron Meyer will undertake his first attempt at riding the overall at the Tour de Romandie. The team is also looking for success on at least one stage.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour de Romandie: