Q&A With DS Matt Wilson on Dauphiné Stage 2

Mon 3 Jun 2013

Wesley Sulzberger mixed it up with the sprinters on the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. Rounding out the top ten, Sulzberger was the best placed rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE in a reduced bunch sprint that saw Elia Viviani (Cannondale) outkick Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) for the stage win.

Race leader David Veilleux (Europcar) finished in the front group to retain the yellow leader’s jersey in Oyonnax. His team controlled the lumpy day that saw a four rider break go clear and gain just under five minutes in the first hour of racing. During the second half of the stage, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Cannondale lent their efforts to the chase.

As the break fragmented and the advantage to the last man standing tumbled, several riders launched solo attacks. Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) all opened up gaps in the closing kilometres of the stage. The peloton swept up Taaramae with two kilometres left to race and prepared for the sprint.

Following the stage, Sport Director Matt Wilson answered questions fans posed via Facebook and Twitter. We’ll use this new format throughout the entire Dauphiné, so throw your team-specific questions our way via social media channels, and we’ll post the answers here.

Who was the team riding for today?

We were really hoping to get Michael Matthews over the last climb with the front group. He’s our fastest guy in a finish like we saw today. Simon Gerrans was our Plan B.

Unfortunately, Michael got dropped just before the top of the climb, and he didn’t manage to get back on before the finish. Gerro had another off day, losing contact with the bunch on the second to last climb. This left guys like Clarkey [Simon Clarke] and Wes [Sulzberger] with the opportunity to do something in the finish.

Wes did a really good ride to run tenth. Clarkey put Wes in position inside the last kilometre. He was where he needed to be and seemed to have a clear shot for the line, but there was some argy-bargy with Viviani and Meersman, and he lost his position a bit. I’m happy with how Wes rode. He’s showing really good form.

What happened with Gerro today? After yesterday, it seemed like you expected him to bounce back with a better ride today?

We think he may be suffering from some allergy problems. He’s been bothered by allergies at various points throughout the season. We’ve had such a late spring here in Europe, and it’s made allergies a bit worse than usual for anyone who has problems with them. Today went better for Gerro than yesterday, so we’re hopefully he’ll continue to improve.

Mitch Docker went down in a crash today. How is he doing?

He’s fine. He landed quite heavily on his knees, and it’s really painful when that happens. I took him awhile to recover, but once he got going again, he was fine. He should be okay to start tomorrow without any problems.