ORICA-SCOTT return to European racing at the Volta a la Comunitat ValencianaSun 29 Jan 2017
The European season begins next week in Valencia for ORICA-SCOTT at the five-day mini stage race Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. After a successful start to 2017 the team will be looking to continue their positive run of form with an experienced squad lining up in Spain.
Road captain and 2016 Paris Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman returns alongside Swiss stalwart Michael Albasini and together with Chris Juul Jensen form the beating heart of the team in support of British twins Adam Yates and Simon Yates.
Adam, winner of the 2016 Tour de France best young rider category comes directly into the team from a block of winter training in Spain. Alongside brother and teammate Simon the team hope the mixed terrain of the five-day race will provide an excellent platform to add some early season stage racing to an already intensive training program.
Sport director Neil Stephens explained the benefits of this for the squad.
“We will be heading into the Vuelta Valencia to use it as a step up to the other races that will follow,” said Stephens. “To get the most out of the race we will be targeting stages with full commitment without placing any unnecessary pressure on the team.”
“We have a great team here that will be capable of mixing it up on all terrains, but we want to be realistic and for this line up it’s the first race of the year and part of our preparation for what lies ahead.”
2016 Vuelta a Espana stage winners Magnus Cort and Jens Keukeleiere will be joined by lead out specialist Luka Mezgec with any of these three fast men capable of competing for the flatter sprint stages.
“The best way to fine tune your form is always through racing,” continued Stephens. “The guys have all been working hard over the winter, but the edge that you pick up in competition is irreplaceable.
“The race opens with team time trial followed by three sprint stages and a summit finish on the mountainous stage four. As I said we won’t be putting any undue pressure on the team at this stage, but we have good options to perform and will see where that takes us.”
The race covers a total of 690 kilometres across the Spanish region of Valencia starting with a 39.7kilometre team time trial. With each stage including challenging terrain and peppered with category three climbs apart from stage four, which includes the first category Alto de Puertomingalvo alongside two more categorised climbs.
ORICA-SCOTT at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (1 – 5 February):
Michael Albasini (SUI, 36)
Magnus Cort (DEN, 24)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, ACT, 38)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 27)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 28)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)
Adam Yates (GBR, 24)
Simon Yates (GBR, 24)
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana – Race Details:
Wednesday, 1 Feb: Stage 1,Oriheula, TTT 37.9KM
Thursday, 2 Feb: Stage 2, Alicante to Denia, 178.6km
Friday, 3 Feb: Stage 3, Canals to Riba-Roja de Turia, 163km
Saturday, 4 Feb: Stage 4, Segorbe to Lucena del Cid, 180.9km
Sunday, 5 Feb: Stage 5, Paterna to Valencia, 130km