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"It’s more than likely that we will try and chase stage wins and be a bit more aggressive than try and target the overall,” White said.

Photo: Sirotti












25.12.2014 @ 15:57 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Differently than most professionals, Australians riding in the Orica-GreenEDGE outfit aim to kick off their early season in a splendid form, targeting national championships and first WorldTour race of the season, the Tour Down Under. Their perfect plan to set Simon Gerrans for another victory in both events turned into dust, though, as agruably one of the best riders of 2014 broke his collarbone in a mountain bike ride.


With witty Gerrans on board, Orica-GreenEDGE once again would be a clear favourite to dominate in both national championships and Santos Tour Down Under, but a crash the 34-year old Australian has recently experienced won't allow him to defend both titles won last January. 


What's worse, an unexpected absence of their captain will force the Australian squad to completely change their tactics for one of their most important events in the calendar, as the likes of Michael Matthews and Michael Albasini – who due to their similar characteristics could easily slip into Gerrans' shoes – are both sheduled to start their 2015 season several weeks later.


“Matthews wasn’t supposed to start racing until Paris-Nice so to bring his race plan forward by six or seven weeks doesn’t really work but we’ll make a decision soon. It’s likely that an Australian will replace Simon,” White told Cyclingnews.

“If this had happened four weeks then you could have looked to the Yates brothers as the course suits them but it’s less than a month away and if guys are looking to prepare for March, it’s hard to make that work. You also have to factor in the heat if you’re trying to bring people out at the last minute.”


In such circumstances, the Orica-GreenEDGE manager Matt White revealed that most likely they will be forced to entirely change their approach and chase stage victories this time around, with Cameron Meyer being a potential team captain. 


“We’re still piecing that together and nothing is locked in, but the core of the groups has been decided. It’s more than likely that we will try and chase stage wins and be a bit more aggressive than try and target the overall,” White told Cyclingnews.


“With Simon we were going in as favourites so whoever we replace him with, it means we won’t be the favourites any more, that’s for sure. I’m still confident that we’ll be able to put a great team together and get some results but Simon Gerrans isn’t easy to replace. To win Tour Down Under you’ve got to prepare specifically for it but I’m sure that we’re going to come up with something that will animate the race.”



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