Versatile ORICA-GreenEDGE lineup for volatile Tour of QatarFri 6 Feb 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE will field a versatile lineup to contend with a volatile first international race of the 2015 season.
Overlapping with the final day of racing in the Australian season, the Tour of Qatar starts this Sunday and is known for it’s stressful racing as a result of high winds and its early calendar placement.
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage said the team, many straight from Europe, is prepared for the unpredictable six-stage Tour.
“In Qatar it is important to have different kind of riders,” Lapage said.
“It can be every day a bunch sprint but when it’s really windy it can be that each day a small group comes to the finish, so we have to be prepared.
“Qatar is for sure a stressful race because you cannot lose concentration for one second thinking about the wind conditions. There is no stage were you can take it more relax if your goal is to win or to end high in the overall.”
Amongst the eight-man line up is Britain Adam Bylthe who will make his debut on the road for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
Blythe is joined by fellow sprinter former track world champion Leigh Howard, with the pair supported by a strong lead out train in Brett Lancaster, Jens Mouris, Mitch Docker and Mathew Hayman who heads to Qatar following a strong Tour Down Under.
Insert veteran Svein Tuft who will favour the stage three 10km individual time trial and work tirelessly for the team over the rest of the Tour, and crafty opportunist Jens Keukeleire and the team hopes to have answers to most scenarios.
“It is very important that everyone rides as a team,” Lapage continued. “Each one has his role in there and I think with the experience of Lancaster, Hayman and Tuft in the team, we have the perfect base to guide the younger ones.”
“In Qatar it is so important to race aggressive and always around your teammates. Later in the race when decisions have to be made, I know we can count on the road captains to guide the team.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE for the Tour of Qatar (8-13 February):