OGE sets out to win Tour stages
OVERSHADOWED by a four- way battle for Tour de France supremacy between Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana, ORICA-GreenEDGE is plotting to upstage the race heavyweights by snatching stage wins.
OGE will field three Australian riders – Simon Gerrans, Michael Matthews and Luke Durbridge – when the race starts with a 13.8km individual time trial in Utrecht tonight and intends to make its mark in the opening seven days.
Armed with a blend of emerging young talent – Matthews and British twins, Adam and Simon Yates – OGE also has a wealth of experienced opportunists.
“The goal for the team is to win a stage,” Simon Gerrans said.
“If we can do that, it will be a hugely successful Tour. If we don’t do that, I know we’re going to be frustratingly close.”
OGE has already had a striking impact on grand tours, winning several stages to stamp itself as one of the most reliable and competitive outfits outside of teams with general classification riders.
Team director Matt White makes no secret of the fact each of his nine riders will be given opportunities over the 21- stage, 3360km trek from the Netherlands, through Belgium and into France.
“We have a lot of opportunities right throughout the three weeks, whereas at Tours in the past we haven’t had guys who can win high mountain stages,” he said.
“The goal for us is stage victories and because of the quality of this team, everyone will be given a chance to win a stage.
“With so many options right across the board, the month ahead is a pretty exciting prospect.”