ORICA-GreenEDGE looking to make it three out of three at La RiojaThu 31 Mar 2016
2014 winner Michael Matthews returns to the Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja looking to continue the success ORICA-GreenEDGE have enjoyed in the Spanish one day event over the past couple of editions.
Last year's race saw 21-year-old Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan claim his first professional victory in Europe and ORICA-GreenEDGE took the top two spots on the podium with South African Daryl Impey finishing in second place after a textbook lead out for Ewan.
Sports director Dave McPartland is confident about the team’s chances on Sunday.
“We have a strong and confident line up for this race,” said McPartland. “It’s no secret that our objective is to try and win the race, especially after our success here in the last two years.”
“Michael (Matthews) is coming into this weekend on the back of an excellent performance in Paris-Nice and an unfortunate Milan-San Remo, he is highly motivated to achieve a result here.”
“It will be a fast and difficult race,” explained McPartland. “We are very aware that the competition will be strong but if we can get ourselves into good positions we have the firepower to finish the job.”
Formally a three-day stage race, La Rioja became a one-day event in 2009. The 56th edition follows a 157.4kilometre route through the famous wine making region before finishing in the city of Logrono.
Michael Albasini and Ruben Plaza are the only two changes to the team that race the day prior at GP Miguel Indurain.
ORICA-GreenEDGE at Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja (3rd April):
Michael Albasini (SUI, 34)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, NSW, 37)
Damien Howson (AUS, SA, 23)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 26)
Cheung King-Lok (CHN, 25)
Michael Matthews (AUS, ACT, 25)
Christian Meier (CAN, 31)
Ruben Plaza (ESP, 35)