ORICA-SCOTT return to the White Roads of Tuscany for Strade BiancheWed 1 Mar 2017
The spectacular Italian one day classic Strade Bianche takes place this Saturday with ORICA-SCOTT returning for their third appearance in a race that now forms part of the UCI World Tour calendar.
After positive results at Sundays Kuurne-Brussles-Kuurne and a strong team display at the Tour of Abu Dhabi the Australian outfit carry confidence into Saturdays race looking to improve on last years top thirty finish.
“Saturday will be our third time competing at the Strade Bianche and our aim will certainly be to continue our progression in this event,” said Sport director Neil Stephens.
“Last year we were up there throughout the race and narrowly missed out when the winning split came, we’ll be looking to improve on that this time around and hopefully have numbers up there in the final.”
“A big boost to our squad this year will be the experience that Roman Kreuziger and Chris Juul Jensen bring having competed in six editions of the race between them.”
The core support of Saturday’s squad will be the engine room of Sam Bewley and Svein Tuft, both came through the tough Flemish opening weekend with valuable kilometres in their legs through some difficult racing conditions.
2016 Vuelta a Espana stage winner Jens keuekeleire will be one of two protected riders within the team alongside Luke Durbridge with fellow Australians Jack Haig and Alexander Edmondson completing the line up.
“Luke’s condition is very good at the moment,” continued Stephens. “He rode impressively on Sunday at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and we’ll be looking for Luke and Jens to be getting amongst it at the crucial stages of the race.”
“I’m very happy with the team, we’ve got strength in depth and plenty of versatility to cope with whichever way the race should swing, of course we have started the season very well and we’ll be looking to maintain our momentum and carry it into the spring.”
The Strade Bianche is in its 11th year with 2017 marking the first year as part of the UCI World Tour. Despite its relative youth the race has quickly established itself as iconic, covering 176kilometres over the ancient White Roads of the Italian region of Tuscany making for a thrilling combination of difficult terrain and spectacular scenery.
The race slots into the early spring classics category and takes place on Saturday 4th of March.
Sam Bewley (NZ, 29)
Luke Durbridge (AUS, 25)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS, 23)
Jack Haig (AUS, 23)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 27)
Jens Keuekeleire (BEL, 28)
Roman Kreuziger (CZ, 30)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 39)
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com