Young talent on display at French one-day races to kick start European seasonTue 24 Feb 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE will showcase some of its bursting roster of young talent at the La Classic Sud Ardèche and La Drôme Classic to kick start the team’s European season this weekend.
2014 Tour of Suisse and Tour of California stage winner Esteban Chaves, 2014 Tour of Turkey winner Adam Yates and twin brother Simon Yates will step up after strong seasons last year whilst Danish recruit Magnus Cort will also debut for the team at the French one-day races.
Direct from the recently concluded South African training camp, the weekend’s racing is the first of a number of opportunities for ORICA-GreenEDGE’s up-and-coming crop of riders this season.
“Particularly the Yates brothers, these guys are full of confidence after a good first year so are looking for opportunities like these races and they will get it for sure,” sport director David McPartland said.
“It’s also the perfect race for them to start showing some leadership and for some of them it’s the first time they will have that leadership.
“This year, the Yates brothers and Chaves will have leadership roles in WorldTour races so this weekend’s racing is a great opportunity to introduce them to that leadership responsibility before they take it onto WorldTour level.”
The young quartet is joined in France by more experienced campaigners Christian Meier, 2013 Italian champion Ivan Santaromita and Grand Tour stage winners Michael Albasini and Daryl Impey.
The two days of racing is set to be select. At 198km and 201km a piece with hard roads and undulating parcours, both races are an early season test of form.
“The races are sometimes considered the French equivalent of the Belgian Classics and that’s exactly what they are,” McPartland said.
“It’s really lumpy and a really taxing course and French racing is typically quite aggressive. Really, the most likely outcome is that it comes to a select group finish on both days.
“The La Classic Sud Ardèche last year had a group of 30-40 odd riders at the finish and at La Drôme Classic there was only about 15 at the finish.
“If that is the case again, then I would expect we would have a good presence in numbers there with guys that can get around that course and still finish it off for us.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at La Classic Sud Ardèche (28 February) and La Drôme Classic (1 March):