ORICA-SCOTT head into unchartered waters at the Pro Otztaler 5500

Tue 22 Aug 2017

ORICA-SCOTT is one of four WorldTour team’s talking part at Friday’s one-day climbing epic, the Pro Otztaler 5500 in the South Tyrol in Austria.

Probably the toughest climbing one-day race of the season with 5,500metres of elevation in 2238kilometres as the parcours traverses four Alpine passes including the Brenner and the Timmelsjoch, the daunting event is registered as a UCI 1.1 category race.

2017 marks ORICA-SCOTT’s debut in the race and the Australian outfit are taking it seriously with a strong and motivated line up of climbing talent headed up by Herald Sun Tour champion Damien Howson and the experienced Czech climber Roman Kreuziger.

Howson and Kreuziger will be joined by 22-year-old Australian Robert Power and Spanish Grand Tour stage winner Ruben Plaza, with Roger Kluge and Jens Keukeleire completing the strong six rider line up.

“This race fits in at a really good time in the season for us,” said sport director Matt White. “It links up well in terms of preparation for the upcoming Canadian races and the late season Italian one day classics that come after the World Championships.”

“For sure it is going to be epic, without doubt it is the most climbing in a single day event in the world and we are really looking forward to the experience. We have a strong and motivated squad with a good mix of capabilities and we will certainly be going for a result.

“There isn’t really any other opportunity to do a race like this throughout the season and for us it will be a new challenge that we are looking to embrace. The climbs are huge and it is going to be a very long day over demanding terrain.

“You have to appreciate that on the big days in a Grand Tour you’re looking at around 4,000metres of elevation and this tops out at 5,500. That kind of statistic speaks for itself.”

A race with these numbers has never before been a part of the UCI calendar and the Austrian and Tyrolean landscape will undoubtedly provide a stunning backdrop for what is set to be a grueling event.

ORICA-SCOTT at the Otzal Pro Classic (Friday, 25th August):

Damien Howson (AUS, 25)

Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 28)

Roger Kluge (DE, 31)

Roman Kreuziger (CZ. 31)

Ruben Plaza (ESP, 37)

Rob Power (AUS, 22)

Photos courtesy of ©