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“We said at the start that we didn’t expect the sort of ride from this group as we had with our team time trial group at the Tour de France,” said Sport Director Neil Stephens."

Photo: Sirotti

BADEN COOKE

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CHRISTIAN MEIER

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LEIGH HOWARD

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MICHAEL MATTHEWS

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MITCHELL DOCKER

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SIMON CLARKE

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SIMON GERRANS

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TEAM JAYCO ALULA (FORKERT)

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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WESLEY SULZBERGER

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25.08.2013 @ 10:51 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The winners of the TTT in the Tour, Orica-GreenEDGE, finished as 9th on yesterday’s 27 km long course.

 

Orica-GreenEDGE fulfilled their goal in yesterday's TTT. The team finished 45 seconds behind the winners from Astana and accomplished their goal.

 

“We said at the start that we didn’t expect the sort of ride from this group as we had with our team time trial group at the Tour de France,” said Sport Director Neil Stephens to Orica's webpage. “We had different expectations for this team. We did well to run in the top ten. That was our goal, and I knew it was a realistic one. For the team we have here, it was an honourable ride.”

 

Riders travelled by raft to the stage start and the timing in which the travel had been arranged required most teams to deviate from their usual pre-time trial protocol. While all teams contended with the disadvantages posed by these logistics, some riders had more difficulty adapting than others. 

 

“Although the start location was beautiful and interesting, the way things unfolded before the start with the travel by boat from one marina to the other really messed with our usual routine,” noted Stephens. “We had a fairly good start, but Baden [Cooke] suffered without his normal warm-up. He lost contact only 5-6km into the stage. Baden was full of apologies,” Stephens continued. “He felt awful not to contribute. I told him sorry was the wrong word. When you’re not on, you’re not on. He did what he could with what he had. His preparation beforehand was fantastic, and we’re confident he’ll bounce back from this.”

 

Despite the technical nature of the course, the team settled into a rhythm after losing Cooke. Through the first intermediate time check, they posted the fastest time, 9 seconds quicker than Team NetApp-Endura, the only team to start ahead of them.

 

“The entire course was really, really windy and the first half was especially technical,” Stephens explained. “We went well after losing Baden. Then, three-quarters in, we lost Mitch Docker, so we came the line with seven. We’re happy to have the race underway. We saw an indication of some good form today. Tomorrow is a really hard stage. It’s not a great one for us; it’s more of a general contender day. We’re really looking forward to the few days after that when we can have a real go.”

 

Last year’s King of the mountain’s shirt, Simon Clarke, is also happy about the team’s performance.

 

“It’s been a good experience because a lot of guys were doing their first or second team time trial ever. And this one was in a Grand Tour, which is another factor. We’ve learnt some good things and we’ll improve in the future.”

 

Simon Clarke led the team across the line, stopping the clock at 30’44. The time proved good enough for ninth place by the time Astana, the last team to start, hit the finish. Janez Brajkovic donned the red leader’s jersey while his teammate Vincenzo Nibali celebrated the time he won to his general classification rivals.

 

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