ORICA-SCOTT eyeing the overall at Dreidaagse de Panne with Durbridge

Sat 25 Mar 2017

ORICA-SCOTT continue their classics campaign next week at Driedaagse de Panne eyeing the general classification with in-form Australian Luke Durbridge.

With two recent fourth place finishes in Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke, the former Australian time trial champion has proven his classics form and will be the team’s main hope for overall success.

Last year Durbridge finished sixth overall in the race, this year, like in previous editions the three-day tour will conclude with a 14,2kilometre individual time trial which should be beneficial for a rider like Durbridge.

“If you see how Luke has been riding he deserves that the team works for him at this race,” explained  sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “The last years in this race he has always finished highly and near where he needs to be.”

“He has always been close but the last two or three years he lost time on the first days because of bad positioning and being nervous but I think now he has more control in this area.

“If he can get through the first stages without losing time then the other teams will need strong guys to beat him.”

To assist with positioning in the opening stages will be local Belgian rider Jens Keukeleire, fast guys Roger Kluge, Luka Mezgec and Alexander Edmondson fresh from a fourth place recently in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

Vuelta a España stage winner Magnus Cort and Dane Chris Juul-Jensen round up the seven-strong team for the race.

“The team has been riding really great so far in Belgium,” Lapage continued. “To get the results we have, you need a strong rider but also a strong team around supporting and this is what we have seen.”

“The last two or three years our classics team has been growing and now they are at a level where they can compete for the win.”

The three-day race begins on Tuesday 28th until Thursday 30th and provides the team with a perfect build up to the Tour of Flanders later in the week.

ORICA-SCOTT riders for Driedaagse de Panne:

Magnus Cort - (DEN, 24)
Luke Durbridge - (AUS, 25)
Alexander Edmondson - (AUS, 23)
Chris Juul-Jensen - (DEN, 27)
Jens Keukeleire – (BEL, 28)
Roger Kluge – (GER, 30)
Luka Mezgec - (SLO, 28)

Driedaagse de Panne race details (28-30th March):

Tuesday, 28th March: Stage 1 De Panne - Zottegem, 205,5km
Wednesday, 29th March: Stage 2, Zottegem - Koksijde 192.9km
Thursday, 30th March: Stage 3a, De Panne - De Panne 118.5km
Thursday, 30th March: Stage 3b, De Panne - De Panne 14,2km ITT

Photos courtesy of ©