MATT WHITE

O RICA BIKE EX­CHANGE

Procycling - - Prologue - Matt has over­seen Ori­caBike Ex­change's best sea­son yet in 2016

This was our best ever sea­son. We won the first WorldTour race of the year, stage 1 of Down Un­der with Caleb Ewan, and we won the last WorldTour one, Lom­bar­dia with Este­ban Chaves. In be­tween, we won Paris-Roubaix, fin­ished on the podium in the Giro and Vuelta, and at the Tour we won a stage, placed fourth on GC and took the white jer­sey.

We opted to do fewer races this year. In 2012 we did 265 race days, now we do 220. You might think we’d get fewer wins but we got 28, 17 of them WorldTour. The re­duc­tion helps us all stay mo­ti­vated and fresh to the year's end.

We kicked off well at Down Un­der, which we won for the third time. There’s pres­sure be­cause it’s our home race but we dom­i­nated it, with four stage wins and the GC.

Mat Hay­man’s Roubaix win was a high­light. It wasn’t a sur­prise, be­cause he’s run top 10 in that race twice be­fore, but what was amaz­ing was his run-up to it. Mat broke his el­bow at Het Nieuws­blad in Fe­bru­ary. He couldn’t ride on the road so he spent four weeks on his turbo, train­ing like a mad­man, with only two races in Spain be­fore Roubaix. It was un­ortho­dox but the big thing was that he went in to it carefree. He went with one move, got an arm­chair ride and was still fresh when the big boys came across. Then he rode a tac­ti­cally as­tute fi­nal. He’s 16 years a do­mes­tique – no mat­ter what else hap­pens, he’ll al­ways have that cob­ble. We went to the Giro con­fi­dent Este­ban could do well. It was gut­ting that he was so close to win­ning and I think he’d have taken it if he hadn’t got sick. But then again, Krui­jswijk would have won if he hadn’t crashed. Sec­ond place and the queen stage was still a big break­through for Este­ban.

At the Tour, our goal was to win a stage and sup­port Adam Yates in the GC. He dealt with the pres­sure su­perbly. On Ven­toux, he didn’t want the yel­low jer­sey. Right­fully, he should have had it. I was like, 'P*ss off, we’ll take it', but he didn’t want it that way.

The Vuelta was our best Grand Tour – four stage wins and two in the fi­nal top six. Este­ban never gave up and he took third off Con­ta­dor on the last climb. Then he kept his form to win Lom­bar­dia.

Two years ago we didn't ride many races for GC – just Down Un­der and a few oth­ers as that was all we could man­age. Now we have a chance at any race we go to. Next year we'll ride GC at all three Grand Tours. We've come a long way.

Mat Hay­man’s Roubaix win was a high­light… He's 16 years a do­mes­tique – no mat­ter what, he'll al­ways have that cob­ble

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