Versatile Roster for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Eneco TourSat 10 Aug 2013
ORICA-GreenEDGE will head north to the cobbled roads of Belgium for the Eneco Tour with a strong and versatile lineup, chasing a repeat on last year’s success.
The team will go into the seven-day stage race looking to build on a hugely successful showing last year. Canadian Svein Tuft took out the win in the individual time trial and narrowly missed out on a podium finish, after wearing the leader’s jersey into the final stage. A win in the team time trial and three riders inside the final top ten overall capped off a remarkable week.
“Last year was very successful for us, with the incredible week that Svein had,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “As a director, winning the team time trial in particular was a very special moment for me to be involved in.”
This year’s edition of the late-season tour encompasses six road stages through familiar Belgian and Dutch terrain, and a 13.2 kilometre individual time trial on stage five. Without a team time trial to contest this year, ORICA-GreenEDGE enters the race with a versatile roster and a fresh set of objectives.
“With the team we have selected, we have many different cards to play,” said Lapage. “We will start without a real leader, and day by day we will formulate a plan. Starting the individual time trial with a few riders in good overall positions is important to that plan.”
With the route dipping into territory covered during the Spring Classics, the talent-heavy eight-man lineup is comprised of Classics specialists and adaptable all-rounders, all capable of bringing home results in various scenarios and providing solid team support. The lack of a clear team leader means each of the ORICA-GreenEDGE riders will get an opportunity to stamp their mark on the race.
“If we look through the roster, you can see that we have a strong team with many options,” said Lapage. “Coming off the Tour de France, we have Daryl Impey and Svein Tuft. Daryl is a real team rider, and he could produce a surprise overall result, depending on his recovery from the Tour. Jens [Mouris] and Svein are always important additions to any team, especially these tough Classic-style races. We also expect a good result from Svein in the time trial.”
“Langeveld is our big Classics specialist,” added Lapage. “He’s ready to race and really motivated for Eneco, and he can also provide good team support when necessary. Keukeleire has showed in Burgos that he is in great condition, and racing so close to home will give him extra motivation.”
“Kruopis is our man for the sprints and he should be right up there with such a strong team around him,” Lapage continued. “For hillier days we have Weening, who has shown he has really great form coming off his win in Poland. Durbridge is returning from an illness in Poland, so we will take all the pressure off him and allow him a few days to ease back into racing.”
Riders will once again tackle the slopes of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, which was included in last year’s edition of the race for the first time. For fans, stage seven of the Eneco Tour will be the single opportunity of 2013 to witness racing on the famed cobbled climb, which was controversially omitted from this year’s Tour of Flanders.
With stages late in the Eneco Tour heading deep into the Belgian Ardennes, conditions are expected to be unpredictable, with crosswinds and cobbled sections likely to play a hand in the racing. ORICA-GreenEDGE will respond to this unpredictability with a flexible plan and a variety of options.
“I want to start this race off as I always do: no stress,” said Lapage. “I want us to be visible in the race and to come together as a team on the road. From there I’m sure at the end of the week we will be where we have to be. If we follow our own plan every day, we will achieve the results we want and it’s not important with which riders.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Eneco Tour: