ORICA-BikeExchange remain in Spain for the 38th Vuelta a BurgosSun 31 Jul 2016
ORICA-BikeExchange head into the five-day stage race, the Vuelta a Burgos, with a strong and versatile line up on the hunt for stage success.
The five-day race is part of the UCI EuropeTour and takes place in the autonomous Burgos region of Northern Spain.
A historic and mountainous part of the country, the challenging race is well known as a form finder and preparatory event for the three week Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana.
23-year-old Simon Yates leads the team and will be aiming to continue his recent run of good form after winning last week's Clasica de Ordizia and finishing in seventh place at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian on Saturday.
Yates will be supported by experienced Basque climber Amets Txurruka, who previously won the Vuelta a Burgos mountains classification back in 2013.
Sport director Dave McPartland is looking forward to the race and complimented the nice balance of youth and experience in the team.
“Burgos comes at a good time on the calendar,” said McPartland. “Five great days of difficult racing with one eye on final preparation for the Vuelta a Espana. This will be a tough race and as always the team time trial on stage two will play a key role in any overall aspirations.”
“It will be an excellent opportunity for Simon (Yates) to continue his progression coming back to racing and he is hungry to do well. His form speaks for itself after his performances this past week.”
New signing Carlos Verona will make his debut for the team, with the 23-year-old Spanish climber adding versatile options for the breakaway as well as the tough days in the mountains.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Carlos (Verona) to the team in his first race with us and also 21-year-old Australian stagiaire Nick Schultz will be making his debut for the team, giving him his first experience with the professionals.”
Australian Damien Howson completes the quintet of climbers for ORICA-BikeExchange, with the squad very much looking to youthful talent on the mountain stages.
Slovenian fast man Luka Mezgec continues his return to racing after his premature exit from the Giro d’Italia and recent strong performances in the Tour of Poland.
“Luka (Mezgec) has shown in Poland that he has returned to racing at a high level,” continued McPartland. “For the stages that will finish in a group we will be looking to put Luka in the best position to contest the finale. He is strong and positive and that reflects the attitude throughout the team.”
Canadian Christian Meier completes the line up and forms the integral power base for the Australian outfit over the 675kilometre, five-day race.
Vuelta a Burgos begins on Tuesday and will be the third Spanish race in four days for ORICA-BikeExchange.
ORICA-BikeExchange at Vuelta a Burgos, (1002-6 August):
Vuelta a Burgos stages:
Tue, 2nd August: Stage 1, Sasamon to Melgar de Fernamental, 158km.
Wed, 3rd August: Stage 2, Burgos, TTT, 10.7km.
Thurs, 4th August: Stage 3, Valle de Sedano to Villarcayo, 198km.
Fri, 5th August: Stage 4, Aranda to Lerma, 145km.
Sat, 6th August: Stage 5, Caleruega to Lagunas de Neila, 163km.