The Bretagne Classic kicks off the final series of single day events for ORICA-SCOTTThu 24 Aug 2017
As the 2017 season begins to reach it’s tail end the focus moves onto the last of the one-day races and the upcoming World Championships, Sunday’s 81st edition of the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France marks the first of the late summer races for ORICA-SCOTT.
An old and prestigious Grand Prix event consisting of eight hilly and demanding circuits of 27kilometres before a final lap of the Bretagne village of Plouay that usually decides the race outcome.
Famed for a high rate of attrition and its association with one of the historic heartlands of French cycling, the climbs within the race although quite short are immediate and often divisive.
ORICA-SCOTT head into the event with a strong squad looking at both the option of a combative late attack and a sprint finish. Slovenian national road race champion Luka Mezgec will be joined by Volta Catalunya stage winner Daryl Impey and the versatile Michael Albasini.
Whilst not entirely suited to the course Giro d’Italia stage seven winner Caleb Ewan will be afforded the opportunity to ride aggressively along with Mezgec and Impey with positioning on the last climb set to be crucial.
“This is always a hard race,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “A real battle over the first eight circuits and then it’s about who has got enough left on the last lap to get over the climbs once more either to contest the sprint or to stay away with an attack.”
“We have a really strong line up for Sunday with options both for the attack and for the sprint. Luka is in good shape at the moment and has enjoyed summer of great results. If the race comes back together for the sprint it could suit him very well.”
A solid supporting cast of Australians completes the team with Road Captain Mathew Hayman and the experienced pedigree of Simon Gerrans joining compatriots Mitch Docker and Alexander Edmondson.
“It’s really great to have such a strong mix of talent and experience within the team,” continued Lapage. “We are prepared for every eventuality and it’s a boon for us to be able to combine strength and speed with the explosiveness of our two sprinters.”
“Of course a lot will depend on the race situation on the day, the breakaway and the catch and what subsequently unfolds. Whatever happens our positioning will be important throughout, especially on the final circuit and the last time over the climb. So many times we have seen the move caught late here and then the sprinters fight for the victory and I am confident that we have the right mix to battle for a result.”
ORICA-SCOTT at the Bretagne Classic - Ouest France (Sunday, 27th August):
Michael Albasini (SUI, 36)
Mitch Docker (AUS, 30)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS, 23)
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 23)
Simon Gerrans (AUS, 37)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 39)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 32)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 29)
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com