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A mix of experience and youth for ORICA-SCOTT in Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco

Fri 31 Mar 2017

ORICA-SCOTT head to the Basque country next week with a strong team that has a mixture of youth and experience, looking for overall success in the six-day event - Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.

Paris-Nice stage winner Simon Yates will head the team’s ambition in the general classification, whilst former Australian champion Simon Gerrans provides an option for ORICA-SCOTT on the potential sprint stages.

“We know Simon Yates will be up there with the best climbers, he has shown his form already this season,” sport director Neil Stephens explained. “We always seem to perform well as a team in the Basque Country and we have a really great strong team lining up once again, so we won’t be afraid to take it to them this week.”

Last year Gerrans claimed a second and a third placing and returns this year hungry to make it onto the top step of the podium on the stages that suit.

“Gerrans is good when it is a hard race and a select field,” Stephens continued. “Perhaps this year we may get even bigger bunch finishes compared to others years, but at least we know that Gerrans is in great shape and will be well supported on the stages that suit him most.”

Experienced Swiss rider, Michael Albasini will line up as a valuable and versatile rider, playing an important role on both the hilly and potential reduced sprint stages.

Boosting the team's climbing power and fresh from a top ten overall placing in Volta Catalunya is Carlos Verona, who will be joined by two other experienced riders, Ruben Plaza and Roman Kreuziger.

The two young Australians on the team Jack Haig and Rob Power round up the diverse eight rider squad.

“The guys have all been racing a bit now so we know they are in really good shape,” said Stephens. “Like I said, it is a really strong team and in fact I think the harder the race is the better we will be with this team.”

“It will certainly be a challenge going for the overall. There are some really strong riders on the start list and the final stage is a time trial once again.

"We have a good mix of young and experienced riders and will be targeting bunch finishes but also a high general classification place.”

Almost every stage is peppered with numerous categorised climbs with it being in an area renowned for relentlessly undulating terrain.

This year however, the course is slightly different to previews editions with one of the harder days coming towards the back end of the race. As always the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is set to be a week of solid racing.

ORICA-SCOTT riders Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (3-8th April):

Michael Albasini - (SUI, 36)
Simon Gerrans - (AUS, 36)
Jack Haig - (AUS, 23)
Roman Kreuziger - (CZE, 30)
Rubén Plaza - (ESP, 36)
Robert Power - (AUS, 21)
Carlos Verona - (ESP, 24)
Simon Yates – (GB, 24)

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco details:

Monday, 3rd Apr: Stage 1, Iruña to Eguesibar, 153km
Tuesday, 4th Apr: Stage 2, Iruña to Eltziego, 173.4km
Wednesday, 5th Apr: Stage 3, Gasteiz to Donostia 160.5km
Thursday, 6th Apr: Stage 4, Donostia to Bilbo, 174km
Friday, 7th Apr: Stage 5, Bilbo to Eibar, 139.8km
Saturday, 8th Apr: Stage 6, Eibar (TT) 27.7km

Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com

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