Multiple Objectives for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Tour of TurkeyFri 25 Apr 2014
As the 2014 Classics season comes to a close at Liège-Bastagone-Liège and with the first Grand Tour fast approaching, the Tour of Turkey turns the peloton loose in Alanya. The 50th edition of the race follows the Mediterranean and Aegean Coasts for eight days before concluding in Istanbul.
The infusion of a financial stimulus into the race several years ago allowed Tour of Turkey to upgrade its status on the UCI calendar to 2.HC. The race now attracts more of the major players from WorldTour teams. Many Grand Tour contenders will head to Romandie to prepare for the Giro d’Italia whilst some of the finest sprinters in the world will flush out their legs on the flatter stages in Turkey.
ORICA-GreenEDGE has had success in Turkey in previous years. Aidis Kruopis delivered a stage win in 2013. Matt Goss was four times second in 2012. The Australian outfit hopes to continue its success in Turkey as its sprinters test themselves against the fastest men in the world.
“We’re focused on a mix of stages and the overall,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “If you look at the line-up of sprinters, you’ve got some of the best sprinters in the world in Turkey starting with Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) at the top of the list. This is a chance for our sprinters, Leigh [Howard] and Aidis [Kruopis] to go up against the major players. There are not many races that include five sprint stages.”
Beyond results, the Tour of Turkey offers ORICA-GreenEDGE an opportunity to further the development of its younger riders. Adam Yates, Damien Howson and Simon Yates will have free reign to test out their climbing legs on the race’s three mountainous stages.
“I think it’s a great race,” said Lapage. “There’s something for everyone. We have such a young team. It’s a really good place to send the two Yates brothers and Damien [Howson]. There’s WorldTour racing and then there’s this level of racing. It’s a good level for these guys to be competitive.”
“The Yates brothers have done some very hard racing on the WorldTour level,” added Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “ At a smaller scale race like Turkey, I think they can do very well. They can try to ride overall as they have good form right now. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do here.”
Whilst Lapage is clear that a stage win is the ultimate target, he understands that success can take multiple forms. With a young squad, the process is as important as the outcome.
“Like most stage races we go to, the stage win is the main target,” explained Lapage. “If we don’t get a win, we can deal with that. The main thing is that they race well as a unit and put themselves in a position to win. The goal is to win, but if it doesn’t happen and they’ve raced well, that’s all you can do, isn’t it?”
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour of Turkey: