ORICA-SCOTT on the hunt for stage victories in this year's Tour De SuisseWed 7 Jun 2017
ORICA-SCOTT head to the Tour de Suisse this week on the hunt for stage victories with a mixed team of youth and experience.
The Australian outfit have options to tackle the nine-day tour which provides a variety of opportunities due to the diverse stages from an opening six kilometre prologue to challenging mountainous day's and a summit finish.
“In many races this season we have gone into them with a general classification focus,” explained sport director Neil Stephens. “For this race we will have less of a focus on the overall with some of the tough mountains stages, such as stage seven in Austria not generally suiting our riders.”
“We have really good bike riders and some talented climbers such as Ruben Plaza and Carlos Verona, these guys could do a handy GC but on paper maybe not enough to put our full focus only on the GC.
“With us not targeting the overall it opens up opportunities for us to go for stage wins in different ways and some of our riders that might usually be tied up in a working role can have opportunities.”
Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini is likely to be a heavily marked man in what is his home race, he will be joined by powerhouses Sam Bewley, Driedaagse de Panne winner Luke Durbridge and Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman.
Vuelta a Espãna stage winner Magnus Cort returns to racing after suffering from a broken collarbone at the Tour de Yorkshire, with youngster Rob Power rounding up the eight-man team.
“It is important for us get some of these riders ready for the Tour de France next month whilst keeping on developing the other riders and we will therefore take our opportunities with going for stage victories,” continued Stephens.
“We won’t be giving away these stage opportunities but when it fits we can look to be active in breakaways, stay flexible and really take on the race.”
The nine-day tour kicks off like previous editions with a opening prologue, last year Durbridge started the race off strongly with a third place in the event.
The team performed consistently in 2016 with a trio of top three stage finishes and various top ten’s, but this year the squad is motivated to come away with a victory.
Tour de Suisse stage details (10-18th June):
Saturday 10th June: Stage 1, Cham - Cham prologue, 6km
Sunday 11th June: Stage 2, Cham - Cham, 172km
Monday 12th June: Stage 3, Menziken - Bern, 159km
Tuesday 13th June: Stage 4, Bern - Villars-sur-Ollon, 150km
Wednesday 14th June: Stage 5, Bex - Cervio, 222km
Thursday 15th June: Stage 6, Locarno - La Punt, 166km
Friday 16th June: Stage 7, Zernez - Sölden, 160km
Saturday 17th June: Stage 8, Schaffhausen - Schaffhausen, 100km
Sunday 18th June: Stage 9, Schaffhausen - Schaffhausen, TT 28km
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