Open opportunities at Il LombardiaWed 1 Oct 2014
ORICA-GreenEDGE will go to Il Lombardia this Sunday with an open strategy as they look to finish the European season with a strong performance.
Similar to the recent world championships in terms of distance and competitors, the 254km one-day Italian race is not for the feint hearted, with just 53 riders completing the race in 2013.
The eight riders for Il Lombardia are: Adam Yates, Christian Meier, Daryl Impey, Esteban Chaves, Michael Albasini, Pieter Weening, Simon Clarke and Simon Yates.
Sport director Matt White said the team would give everyone a chance to shape Sunday’s race.
“With our guys there won’t be a designated leader, everyone will have their opportunity,” White said.
“We have some guys coming off the world championships with solid form. The most notable, based on their world's ride, would be (Michael) Albasini and (Simon) Clarke.
“It’s a race that realistically we are not looking to win, we are looking to get the best result possible. It's one that usually comes down to the best climbers in the world.”
White expects a superior style of racing desite in being so late in the season, as the battle between Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde for world number one looks set to light up the action.
“There is a couple of battles going on,” White said.
“It’s a very prestigious race in Italy as far as one day races go and also there is the battle for world number one.
“Contador has a 14point lead on Valverde in the WorldTour with two races to go. I suspect that battle will go all of the way to Beijing being so close.”
Despite a new course in 2014, a tough finish is still expected to see a significantly reduced field come the final.
“There are similar climbs to last year,” White explained.
“One of the climbs from the final last year is actually used quite early in the race this year but with five kilometres to go there is a new steep climb in the old part of Bergamo.
“I suspect there will be a bunch of 30-40guys left at the bottom of that, but that 1.5km steep climb on cobbles so close to the finish will certainly separate the men from the boys.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at Il Lombardia: