ORICA-SCOTT head to the Tour of Romandie with multiple ambitions and a diverse teamSat 22 Apr 2017
ORICA-SCOTT are ready for the tough six-day race, Tour de Romandie, next week with ambitions for both the overall classification and stage wins.
With a history of success in the race, the team head to the 2017 edition with a diverse squad ready to tackle the mixture of stages on offer.
“In the past we have focused on either stage wins or the general classification however this year we have a bit of a target for each stage to try and win it,” sport director Neil Stephens stated.
“We have always done well in this race with stage wins and we are looking to continue that. We will have a good idea of how we can fight for each stage, but always keeping the general classification riders in mind.”
Paris-Nice stage winner Simon Yates and Czech champion Roman Kreuziger will provide the team with an option for general classification success after their strong and consistent performances so far this season.
They will have a strong support squad around them with a trio of talented climbers in Jayco Herald SunTour winner Damien Howson, Australian Jack Haig and the youngest rider on the ORICA-SCOTT team Rob Power.
Local in-form Swiss rider Michael Albasini returns to the race looking to extend his excellent record of stage wins, having already claimed six stage victories throughout the past three editions.
“We have a group of good climbers, but also strong guys for the flat and pretty quick guys too,” Stephens continued. “We have a really good mixture that we can have a crack at everything."
"Only time will tell if we have been over ambitious but at this stage we are ready to have a good go in every stage.”
Former track riders Alex Edmondson and Sam Bewley add the firepower to the team and the potential to kick things on strongly on Tuesday during the 4.8kilometre opening prologue.
“We have fast powerful riders that could start the tour off well for us with the prologue and then there’s a tough penultimate stage before the race finishes off with a pretty demanding time trial. It's a real mix of stages and we have a good mix of riders.”
After the lung-busting prologue to begin proceedings stage one leaves the riders with no time to hide with a tough summit finish in Champéry. Stage two and three continue with undulating second and third category climbs before the challenging Queen stage on Saturday, which includes three first category climbs up to the summit finish in Leysin.
The stage is likely to see a real shake up in the classification but the overall won’t be settled until the final moments due to a tough 18.7kilometre individual time trial that concludes the race.
Tour de Romandie race details:
Tuesday, 25th April: Prologue, Aigle - Aigle 4.8km
Wednesday, 26th April: Stage 1, Aigle - Champéry, 173.3km
Thursday, 27th April: Stage 2, Champéry - Bulle, 160.7km
Friday, 28th April: Stage 3, Payerne - Payerne, 187km
Saturday, 29th April: Stage 4, Domdidier - Leysin, 163.5km
Sunday, 30th April: Stage 5, Lausanne - Lausanne, 18.3km ITT
Michael Albasini - (SUI, 36)
Sam Bewley - (NZ, 29)
Alexander Edmondson - (AUS, 23)
Jack Haig - (AUS, 23)
Damien Howson - (AUS, 24)
Roman Kreuziger - (CZE, 30)
Robert Power - (AUS, 21)
Simon Yates – (GB, 24)