ORICA-SCOTT return to Canada for the Laurentian ClassicsTue 5 Sep 2017
The Canadian one-day WorldTour events GP Cycliste de Quebec and GP Cycliste de Montreal take place at the weekend and ORICA-SCOTT head across the Atlantic with a strong eight-rider team looking for success on the notoriously tough circuits.
First up is Quebec with a challenging 201kilometres raced over hilly terrain that characterises the 16circuit course and includes a demanding final climb into the historic centre of Quebec ideal for the puncheurs and versatile sprinters.
Multiple Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini and South African national time trial champion Daryl Impey will favour the finish in Quebec with both riders able to match up in the fast classics style final.
2107 marks the eighth edition of the races collectively known as the Laurentian Classics with Belgian Jens Keukeleire lining up alongside Road Captain Mathew Hayman to provide strong support and experience as both riders return to the double header.
History’s first ‘Laurentian Double’ winner Simon Gerrans also makes a return to the scene of his 2014 victories and is joined by compatriot Mitch Docker to give the squad speed and versatility for a testing weekend of North American racing.
“In both races we are aiming high and looking at a podium spot,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “We have a really strong group of guys here with more than one option for different styles of finish and we will be looking to be up there whether there are splits or it’s together for the sprint. After Simon won both races here back in 2014 we know what to expect and also how to get a result.”
“Daryl has already shown that he has this kind of challenging final in his legs and he will be the protected sprinter for both Quebec and Montreal. He took a convincing stage victory in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya back in the spring and that set up what has been a solid season for him.”
Roman Kreuziger and veteran Spanish climber Ruben Plaza took part in the mammoth climbing event the Pro Otztaler 5500 ten days ago with Plaza animating the mountain breakaway before Kreuziger sealed an impressive victory.
The former Czech champion will share a leadership role with Impey for Sunday’s race in Montreal where the total climbing is around 4,000metres and ends in another uphill finish on the Avenue du Parc.
“Roman is showing great form at the moment and had a great victory a couple of weeks ago in Austria,” continued Lapage. “We want to give him more of a protected role on Sunday, but if the race looks like ending in the uphill sprint it will be Daryl that we look to.”
“Both of these races are tough, but with the altitude metres Sunday is very similar to a Grand Tour mountain stage only at lower altitude and there are three tough climbs within each circuit. For sure it will be a hard couple of days of racing. Some of the guys will be going straight into the World Championships for their respective countries so they are in good shape and super motivated for the weekend.”
ORICA-SCOTT at the GP Quebec and Cycliste de Quebec and GP Cycliste de Montreal (Friday 8th and Sunday 10th September):
Michael Albasini (SUI, 36)
Mitch Docker (AUS, 30)
Simon Gerrans (AUS, 37)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 39)
Daryl Impey (SA, 32)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 28)
Roman Kreuziger (CZ, 31)
Ruben Plaza (ESP, 37)
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com