ORICA-BikeExchange looking for a solid result at Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako klasikaThu 21 Jul 2016
ORICA-BikeExchange take a young and compact squad to Spain for the mountainous one day race Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika next week, with the aim of building on last years three top ten placings.
With a history of good results in the challenging race, ORICA-BikeExchange return with a talented line up including young climbing talents Simon Yates and Damien Howson.
Yates comes into the team after racing in epic weather conditions at the Tour of Poland whilst Howson returns to racing after a successful Giro d’Italia followed by the Criterium du Dauphine.
They are joined by Basque climber Amets Txurruka who finished in third place in 2015 and this year lines up for ORICA-BikeExchange in a race he knows very well.
Sport director Neil Stephens is looking forward to the race that marks the start of a solid block of Spanish racing for the Australian team.
“This is a tough little race,” said Stephens. “It's our third appearance here, we won the race back in 2013 and achieved top ten placings last year.”
“We have a good, balanced squad here with strong climbers and we are certainly looking for a solid result.
"It’s our first race of the Spanish summer schedule and we have guys returning to racing and others coming directly from Poland.
“With Simon (Yates) and the experienced Amets (Txurruka) we have guys with the capability to get a result here and we will be looking to be competitive on the day.”
Canadian strong man Christian Meier will be the team's engine room alongside Australian Mitch Docker, with young Danish rider Magnus Cort completing the line up and adding speed to the six-man squad.
Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika is UCI 1.1 race and is part of the Europe Tour. 2016 is the 93rd edition and covers 165.7 mountainous kilometres around the town of Ordizia in the Basque country of Northern Spain.
A picturesque and spectacular part of the Goierri region, the challenging course undoubtedly favours the climbers, traversing five categorised peaks before descending to the finish in Ordizia.
ORICA-BikeExchange at Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika (10025th July 2016):