ORICA-GreenEDGE return to Volta Ciclista a Catalunya with high ambitions

Fri 18 Mar 2016

ORICA-GreenEDGE head to Spain next week ready for the WorldTour race Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. This year marks the 96th edition of the prestigious event, covering predominately mountainous terrains throughout the seven days.

With half the team based in Girona during the racing season, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya is very much a 'home' race for some. Following many familiar training roads, the riders are well prepared for what is to come during the week long, hilly race. 

Sport director Neil Stephens is looking forward to having multiple options going into the race.

"We will be going into the race with a bit of a two-pronged approach," explained Stephens. "We have a pretty good relationship with Tour of Catalunya, in the past we've won with Michael Albasini and stages with Simon Gerrans."

"This year will be a little bit different, it will be the first time we try our hand at the general classification as well as stage wins."

Vuelta a Espana stage winner Esteban Chaves will be the team's main hope for general classification success. After last year's breakthrough season the team has high hopes for the young Colombian. Alongside him will be Santos Tour Down winner Gerrans who is looking for stage victories to continue his strong opening to the 2016 season.

"We will be going for stages with Gerrans and Daryl Impey, even one of the younger guys we have as well," Stephens continued. "Stages three and four are really hard with summit finishes so we can give the general classification a bit of a crack with Esteban." 

The race heads up to the ski resorts of La Molina and Port Ainé on stages three and four respectively, providing two mountain top finishes.

Boosting the team throughout the mountainous terrain are experienced climbers Amets Txurruka, Ruben Plaza along with 23-year-old Damien Howson. Local riders Christian Meier and Jack Haig welcome the familiar roads and will play an important role for the team. 

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya begins on Monday 21st March in Callela. The scene is set to create a battle between the climbers - an exciting prospect for ORICA-GreenEDGE.

ORICA-GreenEDGE riders in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (21-27 March):  

Esteban Chaves (COL, 25) 
Simon Gerrans (AUS, VIC, 35)
Jack Haig (AUS, VIC, 22)
Damien Howson (AUS, SA, 23)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 30)
Christian Meier (CAN, 30) 
Ruben Plaza (ESP, 35)
Amets Txurruka (ESP, 32)

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya stages:

Monday, 21 Mar: Calella to Calella, 175.8km
Tuesday, 22 Mar: Mataró to Olot, 178.7km
Wednesday, 23 Mar: Girona to La Molina(Alp), 172.1km
Thursday, 24 Mar: Bagà to Port Ainé, 172.2km
Friday, 25 Mar: Rialp to Valls, 187.2km
Saturday, 26 Mar: Sant Joan Despi to Vilanova i la Geltrú, 197,2km
Sunday, 27 Mar: Barcelona to Barcelona, 136,4km