TTT, overall and stage ambitions for ORICA-GreenEDGE in AlbertaSat 29 Aug 2015
Whilst one squad continues to produce in Spain at the Vuelta a Espana, another strong ORICA-GreenEDGE team head to Canada looking for the same results at the Tour of Alberta starting on Wednesday.
The Australian outfit will send a quality outfit that has the potential to contest on all fronts, starting with the opening team time trial in Grand Prairie.
Straight off a training camp, the team will feature time trial talents Sam Bewley, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Jens Mouris and Svein Tuft who are all vowing for a position in the ORICA-GreenEDGE for the upcoming World Championships.
“The team time trial will be our first priority,” sport director Dave McPartland said.
“Although it’s only raced on road bikes, and there’s no time trial equipment allowed, it’s still the perfect preparation for the worlds because a lot of the team are coming off a training camp on the discipline and there is nothing like competition.”
The team returns to the Canadian six-day Tour as defending champions following the success of Daryl Impey last year. This year, organisers have included some more serious climbs that should see it suit recent Clasica San Sebastian winner Adam Yates.
Stage four looks set to be the most crucial day for the overall battle, the 162.1km stage from Jasper finishing with a 12km climb to Marmot Basin Ski Area.
“With a strong team time trial to set things up, we should come into stage four in a really good position,” McPartland said.
“From there Adam has shown how strong he has been this season, the progression he has made so quickly, and it’s realistic to go in there with the goal of him to win the general classification.”
On top of those two objectives the team will also target stage ambitions with multiple Grand Tour stage winner Michael Matthews, who returns to racing for the first time since a tough Tour de France where he suffered broken ribs.
“Michael will be focusing on stages and it looks like there is going to be quite a few stages that will suit him,” McPartland said.
With two proven winners in Yates and Matthews, the horsepower of the time trial specialists and the climbing support of Christian Meier, McPartland is confident the ORICA-GreenEDGE lineup is close to perfect to the job ahead of them.
“With the performances at the Vuelta you can look at that team and think it’s the perfect line up,” McPartland said. “But now we have another team going to Canada with close to a perfect line up too.”
“It just shows you the strength and depth of the ORICA-GreenEDGE team and how well things are going for us at the moment.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at Tour of Alberta (2-7 September):