ORICA-GreenEDGE looking for results during final July prep at the Tour de SuisseFri 12 Jun 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE has won a stage at every Tour de Suisse since its inception in 2012 and despite a secondary focus, the Australian outfit hopes to continue that trend.
Local Michael Albasini kicked off the victories in 2012 before Cameron Meyer won the following year’s opening time trial and then again, along with Esteban Chaves, last year.
All three will line up again for the nine-stage Tour starting tomorrow.
But for the Australian outfit, the main priority, like many others, is final Tour de France preparation.
“We always do really well in Switzerland so to walk away with our hands empty would be a shame,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “In saying that, the big priority is to get our Tour de France team into shape, like they are doing at the Dauphine. The reality is, a lot of teams are doing the same thing.”
Alongside Albasini, ORICA-GreenEDGE will start with the firepower of Michael Matthews, straight from a training stint, and Daryl Impey who returns from sickness.
“We have Michael Matthews coming off altitude and we are not exactly sure how much of the race he will get through but we will assess his form a little to see if we target some stages with him,” Stephens said.
“With other fast riders such as Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini we might be able to share the love around and get one of them up for a stage.
“There are plenty of stages for those tough, fast guys; it’s just a matter of how the race pans out and which of our guys are up to it. We certain have options and we are going to be looking for every chance we’ve got.”
Concluding the outfit will be Svein Tuft, Mathew Hayman and Simon Clarke. The trio will prove valuable leaders and workhorses for stage ambitions, and also the team’s general classification chances with Chaves.
“Since last year, we have tried to do something in the general classification in most of the events we go into, and this year’s Tour de Suisse is not going to be any different,” Stephens said.
“We saw last year after the Tour of Spain that Esteban Chaves recovered well and a little while later went to China and was able to finish on the podium.
“This race is a little more demanding than the Tour of Beijing but if he can recover from the Giro d’Italia like he did last year from the Tour of Spain, then I’m sure he can be around the mark in GC. What place that is we are not sure, but I’d like to say we are going to aspire for a top ten.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at Tour de Suisse (13-21 June):