Opportunities Abound for ORICA-GreenEDGE at 2014 Tour de FranceWed 23 Oct 2013
ASO unveiled the 2014 Tour de France route on Wednesday in Paris. The announcement confirmed much of what had been projected.
The three week race begins in Yorkshire with a stage suited to the sprinters. Following three days in Great Britain, the peloton moves to northern France where cobbles, a war memorial theme and the Vosges mountains feature into the opening week. The first alpine test comes ahead of the first rest day. The summit finish on the Planche des Belles Filles may begin to sort the overall contenders.
Le Grand Boucle briefly visits the Alps in week two. Two transition stages take the peloton from the Alps to the Pyrenees in week three for three days of high mountain racing with two summit finishes.
The penultimate stage is also the only time trial of the 2014 Tour. The individual effort covers 54km. The three week race will conclude with the usual Champs Elysées finish returned to its usual afternoon time.
For additional details on the route, we suggest this preview from Inrng.
General Manger Shayne Bannan made the trip to Paris to attend the route presentation. He was pleased to see several opportunities for ORICA-GreenEDGE amongst the stages detailed.
“This could be a quite interesting course,” said Bannan. “I think we will see an exciting race until the end because of the climbs and the time trial. There is a lot of opportunity for teams early in the three weeks to make their mark before the general classification takes shapes in the Alps.”
“We’re a bit disappointed that there isn’t a team time trial,” Bannan added. “That aside, I think the first three stages in England are going to be very familiar to the first three stages in Corsica. I see several places for us to take our chances. The second stage, in particular, stands out to me. Stages five and seven are good for us as well.”
While the team will not be selected until May, Bannan is confident that the 2014 roster includes plenty of options to hunt for stage win over varied terrain.
“We’ll send an aggressive team,” he said. “Our nine riders will be an all-around team capable of playing a role and taking chances in most stages. We have some really good, achievable goals next year. The second stage is a clear target. We’re also hopeful we can get the jersey during the first week again.”
While Bannan recognises that many teams shares the goals he has begun to outline for his squad, he is confident in his team’s chances. He believes success begets success – and two stage wins and four days in yellow in 2013 opens the doors for future wins and yellow jerseys.
“What we accomplished this year at the Tour was exceptional,” said Bannan. “It gives us motivation going into next year that if we do things correctly, we have a chance to pick up another stage win and wear the yellow jersey again.”
“Of course, every single team that rides the Tour has their own objectives,” Bannan added. “The thing that is different for us going into next year is that we’ve already done it. We have experience and results under our belt. We’re going into the Tour believing we can do it all again.”