Stage Wins a Focus for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Tour de RomandieSun 21 Apr 2013
ORICA-GreenEDGE fields a competitive team for the Tour de Romandie with Michael Albasini eager to pursue personal opportunities in the punchy finishes and a sprint train at the service of Matt Goss in the bunch kicks. The six stage WorldTour race is bookended by two time trials, the final of which favours Luke Durbridge and Svein Tuft.
“A time trialist who can climb usually wins the overall,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “Depending on how Alba [Michael Albasini] feels, we might be able to do something with him for the overall.”
Stage wins are a priority for the Australian outfit. Like many teams, ORICA-GreenEDGE sees Romandie as an important race in the build-up to the Giro d’Italia.
“We are bringing a split team,” said Wilson. “We have several riders here who will be preparing for the Giro. They are our core sprint team. We’re bringing them to Romandie to fine tune the lead out train and get Gossy [Matt Goss] a win before the Giro. The other guys will be looking for personal opportunities on the medium mountain stages.”
Albasini, eager to make his mark on his home tour, sees several potential stages that suit his strengths.
“It’s been five years since I’ve done Romandie, and I’m quite happy to be back there,” noted Albasini. “There are some good stages for me in the race – especially the first three road stages. Maybe I can make some nice results there. We’ll also see what we can do with Matt in the sprints.”
“I would say stage two is the best chance for a bunch sprint,” added Wilson, “We’ve ticked that one off for Gossy. Any of the first three road stages could end in a sprint, so we’ll go into each of those with a two-pronged approach – Alba from a small group or we ride for Gossy in a bunch finish.”
The penultimate stage, also tagged as the queen stage, has four categorized one climbs that will certainly shake up the general classification. It is the only road stage on which ORICA-GreenEDGE has not set its sights. While stage four will be decisive, it’s likely that the eventual winner will not be decided until all the riders have tested their legs against the clock on the final stage in Geneva.
“With two time trial specialists in Luke and Svein, the final time trail is important for us as well,” said Wilson. “They’ll both want to see what they can do there.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour de Romandie: