ORICA-GreenEDGE with cards to play at Eneco TourThu 6 Aug 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE will start the Eneco Tour on Monday with a full hand of cards to play across the unpredictable seven-day race in Belgium and Holland.
The Australian outfit went into last year’s edition with a team built around its sprinters. Despite falling short of a stage win, they finished with a top-ten overall courtesy of Belgian Jens Keukeleire who finished eighth.
This year, Keukeleire will be supported for another overall result, whilst Danish neo-pro Magnus Cort and former track world champion Leigh Howard will provide options for sprint stages and specialists Michael Hepburn and Svein Tuft will represent on the stage four time trial on Thursday.
“With this team we have different chances,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.
“I think if we can keep Jens in a good position coming into the weekend, anything is possible overall.
“For the flatter stages, if they finish in a sprint, we have Magnus and we have Leigh who showed on the weekend in London that he is in good condition. And we have a team for the time trial in Svein and Hepburn who will try to go for it too.”
The Tour doesn’t feature any mountain stages that would seem crucial to an overall victory, instead it presents seven days that all have the potential to make or break a result.
“If you see the first three days, it can be windy so it will be important to work well as a team from the beginning to make sure you don’t get surprised,” Lapage said. “Jens knows the courses, he is good in the wind and there is a good team around him so that works in our advantage.”
“I think the time trial will play a difference and then you have Friday a small Amstel Gold Race, Saturday a small Liege-Bastogne-Liege and on Sunday a small Flanders, so all of those three days are important.
“It will not be easy to control the race as a team. A break could go on any of those final three days so it is important to always present ourselves in those moves.”
The ORICA-GreenEDGE team is rounded out by the crucial support of New Zealand’s Sam Bewley, Britain’s Adam Blythe and Dutchman Jens Mouris.
ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Eneco Tour (10-16 August):