Q&A with DS Matt Wilson on Dauphiné Stage 3

Tue 4 Jun 2013

ORICA-GreenEDGE animated the action from start to finish on the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Fumy Beppu spent the day in a four rider escape group that got away from the bunch inside the first kilometre. Combining forces with Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp) and Sander Cordeel (Lotto Belisol), Beppu toiled away up the road to gain a maximum advantage of 6’50 before the Europcar-led field began to chase.

The peloton caught Beppu and company on the Col des Sauvages. The category three summit sat just inside the final ten kilometres. The peloton neutralised all escape attempts that followed as first Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and then Team Sky set a fast tempo on the run in towards the finish in Tarare. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) edged out Michael Matthews for the win in a sprint that was contested amongst a front group of 117 riders. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) rounded out the podium.

We’ve enjoyed your questions from the first two stages of the Dauphiné and put out a call from them again for stage three. Below, Sport Director Matt Wilson responds to a select number.

Q: What was the thought behind putting Fumy in the break today?

Today’s stage started in Ambérieu-en-Bugey about 10 kilometres from where Fumy lives. He expressed an interest in getting in the break. He knows the area well, so he thought this could be to his advantage He also wanted to do something in front of his family who were out watching him today. The boys got behind his ambitions and put him in the move.

We didn’t necessarily think today was a good chance for a breakaway. They’re rarely a sure thing. The riders in the early break are always the underdogs, but sometimes they get unexpected opportunities. We knew it was a long shot, but you never know – why not try?

Q: What sort of support did the team give Matthews in the last bit of racing?

Once the break was established, our focus was on Michael. The guys were around him all day. They put him in a great position for the final climb today. As they hit the base of the final climb, Matthews was on the front. This was a different than yesterday when he was a bit too far back, and I think this helped keep in a position to go for a result in the end.

Q: How is Simon Gerrans feeling today?

He’s feeling much better today, much better. His allergies weren’t as bad, and he’s definitely on the improve. We knew he’d come around. We just weren’t sure how quickly.

Q: Are you satisfied with what the team achieved today?

Yes – it was great teamwork by the whole team, staff included. We sent staff up the road today to give us information on wind direction and road conditions.. It was a really good result for us. Of course, it would have been great to get the win, but I think we showed our stuff today. These last few days, we were a bit invisible. We were much more prominent today.  

Q: What are the team’s ambitions for next five stages?

There is one more sprint stage left, and it’s our biggest change for a win. We’ll target that stage. We don’t have anyone for the time trial or overall, so we plan to attack the other stages. Every now and then, those moves work. The mountainous days are not typically ones that suit us, but you never know.

Q: I understand how climbers train but how do sprinters train – specifically for the explosive finish around dodgy local roads?

Sprinters train for the sprint by sprinting. They’re more explosive athletes to begin with, so they work to hone their top end speed. They train their power. They do a lot of speedwork off of motorbikes and spend more time in the gym than the rest of the team. Their training includes sprint-specific explosive efforts.

We don’t often have the opportunity to work with the sprint train in non-race settings. The ‘practice’ comes in races where we can review each sprint and fine-tune for the stages and races to follow.