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“We're looking to get some good results to finish off the season.  We'd like someone with a high overall placing. We'll look to Cameron Meyer and Pieter Weening for that. We're also on the hunt for stages and that...

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CAMERON MEYER

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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PIETER WEENING

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TOUR OF BEIJING

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08.10.2013 @ 08:55 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

In-form sprinter Michael Matthews is confident of delivering stage victories for Orica-GreenEDGE at the 2013 Tour of Beijing which starts this Friday.

 

In a two-pronged attack, the Australian team will also target a strong general classification result courtesy of 2011 Tour Down Under champion Cameron Meyer and Dutch all-rounder Peter Weening.

 

Matthews recently won two stages of the Vuelta a España with both victories coming from sprint finishes against the fastest riders in the world. The 22-year-old’s double victory in his debut Grand Tour capped a stellar season that has also seen him secure two stage wins at the Tour of Utah and a silver medal at the Australian road race championships.

 

Matthews stormed onto the Australian cycling scene when he won the under-23 world championship in front of a vocal home crowd in Geelong in 2010 and has continued to deliver in his early years in the professional ranks.

 

Meyer, who has been touted as a promising Tour de France rider in the future will work with 2005 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia stage winner Weening in the hope of securing Orica-GreenEDGE’s first UCI WorldTour win in Asia.

 

“We have some high hopes and big goals as a team for this year’s Tour of Beijing,” Meyer said.

 

“We have a strong squad and will look to Peter Weening and I to do something in the overall standings. I think Michael Matthews has a chance at some stage victories and we also have some strong riders for the breakaways,” Meyer said. “My specific role will be to help Peter if he is up for a result on the climbing stage and try to finish high up the overall also.”

 

The 2013 Tour of Beijing looms as the toughest yet, opening with stages likely to favour the sprinters before the 150km journey from Yanqing to Mentougou on stage four, which is set to be the toughest day on the road, negotiating two category 1 climbs, including a mountain top finish on Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain.

 

Australian and 2011 under-23 time trial world champion Luke Durbridge, one-day Classics specialist Mitch Docker and 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist on the track Michael Hepburn have all shown they can handle the tough conditions despite each having raced at the elite UCI WorldTour level for only a couple of seasons.

 

Orica-GreenEDGE are likely to call upon 2008 Canadian champion Christian Meier and Australian Wesley Sulzberger to provide the hard-working domestique support at the 2013 Tour of Beijing.

 

“Last year this race was a very interesting and attacking style of race. It’s the last event of the season and the last chance for teams to earn a result,” Meyer said.

 

“I think we will see two bunch sprints this year on stages one and five. [In]Stages two and three anything could happen with a few hills along the way. Stage four is the hardest and the first time the race has had a mountain top finish. This is where I think the race will be won but I think in all the racing will be fast and aggressive.”

 

Orica GreenEDGE sport director Matt White said the team was looking to end the season on a good note.

 

“We start the season in Australia and we end the season in China - which is the closest WorldTour race to home,” White said.

“We're looking to get some good results to finish off the season.  We'd like someone with a high overall placing. We'll look to Cameron Meyer and Pieter Weening for that. We're also on the hunt for stages and that's with Michael Matthews.

 

“Cycling is a new thing to the Asian continent at this level. The same thing could have been said about Australia ten of fifteen years ago when Tour Down Under first arrived. Look at how cycling in Australia has changed - Tour Down Under has been a big part of the change in Australian cycling along with results achieved by riders from Australia. The Tour of Beijing could be something similar for Asian cycling.”

 

Orica GreenEDGE line-up for the 2013 Tour of Beijing:

 

Mitchell Docker (AUS, 26)
After showing promises at the Australian domestic level, finishing eighth overall at the 2005 Herald Sun Tour, Docker has emerged as a potential Classics winner. Finished sixth at the Gent-Wevelgem and 15th at the Paris-Roubaix in 2011.

 

Luke Durbridge (AUS, 22)
An emerging talent of world cycling, particularly in the time trial. In 2010 he became the youngest ever medal winner at the under-23 time trial at the world championships winning silver before winning the gold a year later. In 2013 he also became the first ever rider to win both the Australian national road race and time trial championships in the same year at senior level. Surprised many big names to win the prologue of the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné.

 

Michael Hepburn (AUS, 22)
Another young Australian who excelled on the track before switching to the road, being crowned world champion for the team and individual pursuit earlier this year, having won a silver medal in the team pursuit at the 2012 Olympic Games and broken the junior individual pursuit world record three times. Since switching to the road he has also won a bronze medal for the time trial at the under-23 world championships in 2011 and has individual stage victories at the Tour of Norway and Tour de l’Avenir.

 

Michael Matthews (AUS, 22)
The 2010 under-23 world champion will be entering the Tour of Beijing on the back of the biggest wins of career, having captured two stages of the 2013 Vuelta a España. An all-round rider with a good sprint finish, he finished ninth overall at the 2012 Tour Down Under, won the sprints classification at the 2013 and 2012 Tour of Utah.

 

Christian Meier (CAN, 28)
The 2008 Canadian road race champion who has developed a career as an all-rounder. A good domestique who won the sprints classification at the Volta a Catalunya this year and has also finished runner-up in the time trial at the Canadian championships on four occasions.

 

Cameron Meyer (AUS, 25)
An emerging rider with huge potential, he excelled on the track winning six world championship titles before switching to the road. Won the 2011 Tour Down Under and in 2013 he has finished fifth overall at the Tour of California, sixth overall at the Tour of Turkey and ninth on a stage at the Tour de France.

 

Wesley Sulzberger (AUS, 26)
Burst onto the scene in 2007 to win a silver medal at the under-23 road race world championship having already won the Australian under-23 title earlier in the year. That year he also won a stage of the Herald Sun Tour and has since become an admired team member for his work ethic and ability to ride as a domestique.

 

Peter Weenig (NED, 32)
A very consistent all-round rider, he is capable of surprising for major wins, such as stage victories at the 2005 Tour de France and the 2011 Giro d'Italia, the latter resulting in four consecutive days in the leader's pink jersey. Ideally suited to a long breakaway, 2013 is turning out to be the one of the best seasons of his career having won the Tour of Poland overall and finished eighth in the Amstel Gold Race and the Eneco Tour.

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