Objectives Achieved for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Paris-Nice

Mon 11 Mar 2013

Simon Clarke was the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE on the stage seven Col d’Èze time trial. Posting the 57th fastest time, Clarke finished 2:25 behind Richie Porte (SKY) who won the stage to put a stamp of authority on his overall victory. Michael Albasini remained the team’s best-placed finisher overall in 52nd place at 22:07. In his own words, Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage briefly reviews the day and shares his thoughts on the week.

When a team has no classification to defend at the end of the stage race, it’s not easy to find the right motivation for the riders at a race-ending time trial. Today was no different for us. The team in Italy has a few riders who will be up for the time trial at the end of Tirreno-Adriatico. We don’t have any time trial specialists here.

When I look at the eight days of racing as a whole, the win from Alba [Michael Albasini] is of course the stand-out moment. The good work from Jens Keukeleire to support Albasini in the final is also a good memory. I’m also especially proud of the lead out the boys gave Leigh Howard during the first two road stages. Actually, I’m proud of how they raced every day. We were very well organised and it made each day easier for everyone.

We can leave Paris-Nice feeling proud of what we accomplished. We wanted Simon Clarke to regain fitness after health issues, and he showed that he has with his breakaway yesterday. We refined the sprint train. Jens Keukeleire, who came into the week with some doubts about his condition, leaves feeling more confident before the important classics. We said we were targeting stage wins, and we got one. I’m a happy sport director, and I hope the team is happy, too.