Ewan and Adam Yates headline Orica-Scott's Tirreno-Adriatico team

Stage win focus in Italy for Australian squad

Australian WorldTour team Orica-Scott head into Tirreno-Adriatico with Caleb Ewan and Adam Yates aiming to continue their winning form in the Italian stage race.

The seven-stage race starts with a team time trial in Lido di Camaiore and concludes with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tront. The decisive day of the race is the climb up Terminillo on stage 4.

A four-time stage winner at the Tour Down Under and stage winner at Abu Dhabi Tour, Ewan leads the team's sprint aspirations with directeur sportif Matt White confident in the 22-year-old's chances.

"Caleb has enjoyed a very strong start to the season and is showing sensational form lately," said White. "This is a very prestigious race and we would like very much to get a stage win here. The route is quite similar to last year and there will be opportunities for us to have a go in the sprints."

With lead out men Roger Kluge and Luka Mezgec joining Ewan in Italy, the Australian's lead out train is also bolstered by the team's selection of Daryl Impey, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn. Yates, fresh from GP Industria & Artigianato victory, will have Czech national champion Roman Kreuziger for the mountains where versatile Impey will also support the 24-year-old

"Both Adam and Roman have trained solidly over the winter," said White. "Roman rode well in Abu Dhabi and got some valuable racing in his legs with his first outing for the team, whilst Adam has had a good period preparing since the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana."

Former Australian time trial champions Durbridge and Hepburn will be key riders for the team time trial and White expects the duo to be crucial riders for the squad aims across the week.

"With a strong start it will keep our general classification guys in the hunt, but the climbs during the week will sort the men from the boys before the race finally gets sorted on the last day with a short time trial," said White. "It would be nice if we can get a good overall result and I am sure our lads will be competitive in what is a very strong field of competitors for the general classification."

Orica-Scott for Tirreno-Adriatico: Luke Durbridge, Caleb Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Daryl Impey, Roger Kluge, Roman Kreuziger, Luka Mezgec and Adam Yates

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