ORICA-BikeExchange aiming high this weekend in ItalyTue 20 Sep 2016
This weekend ORICA-BikeExchange return to Italy for two one-day races, Giro dell´Emilia and GP Bruno Beghelli.
With an impressive team line up which features two-time grand tour podium finisher Esteban Chaves, Tour de France white jersey winner Adam Yates and Vuelta a España stage winner Simon Yates, the Australian outfit are aiming for victory.
Saturday’s 213km race starts and finishes in Bologna with six categorised climbs including the challenging Passo Brasimone.
Sport director Dave McPartland is confident in the team’s ability with many in-form riders suited to the challenging parcours.
“Both races are relatively different but we have horses for courses both days,” explained McPartland. “We have guys who are in really good form after the Vuelta and also the Canadian races, so we are aiming very high.”
“Saturday is going to be a really hard day and the main climb in the middle of the race is solid and usually whittles the bunch down to half.
“There’s another medium climb on the way back to the finishing circuits where the guys then climb Saint Luca five times with the race finishing at the top.”
The team line-up is fortified with talented climbers in Ruben Plaza, Damien Howson, Jack Haig and Amets Txurruka along with Vuelta a España stage winner Jens Keukeleire.
“It’s a tough hard one-day race and pretty much purely for climbers,” continued McPartland. “We have a few different guys who could win this race.”
“It is pretty straight forward for us, we will look after a few key riders and in the very final it will be a case of who has come out of the recent racing well and we will make a decision then out on the road."
The second race of the weekend, the 21st edition of GP Bruno Beghelli sees two-time Vuelta a España stage winner Magnus Cort and Australian Mitch Docker join the eight-man team in place of Haig and Txurruka.
The fresh duo boost the team for Sunday by bringing speed and strength to the squad with Docker making a return to racing after a recent collarbone injury.
“On Sunday the climb on each of the laps is less sever than the climbs in Saturday’s race,” continued McPartland. “In the past the race has seen around 50 riders at the finish.”
“It’s a tricky climb but it is short, around one and a half kilometres, so it isn’t long enough to do huge damage to the peloton.
“There is the potential it could keep coming back together and for that reason we have a slightly different team line up prepared for these two races.”
GP Bruno Beghelli covers 196kilometres with an opening 59kilometres of fairly flat roads ahead of ten 13.3kilometre laps making it fairly unpredictable and an exciting weekend of racing.
ORICA-BikeExchange riders in Giro dell´Emilia and GP Bruno Beghelli (10024th and 25th September):
Esteban Chaves (COL, 26)
Magnus Cort (DEN, 23) - GP Bruno Beghelli only
Mitch Docker (AUS, VIC, 29) - GP Bruno Beghelli only
Jack Haig (AUS, 23) - Giro dell’Emilia only
Damien Howson (AUS, SA, 24)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 27)
Ruben Plaza (ESP, 36)
Amets Txurruka (ESP, 33) - Giro dell’Emilia only
Adam Yates (GBR, 24)
Simon Yates (GBR, 24)