Team targetting stage wins and general classification
Orica-GreenEdge are looking to target stage victories and the general classification, as they announce their team for the Vuelta a España.
"This year we are going in with a multi-task team," directeur sportif Neil Stephens said. "There have been times when we have just targeted stages with one or a couple of riders but this year the whole team is basically all opportunists."
Michael Matthews and Esteban Chaves will spearhead the team's ambitions at the third Grand Tour of the year. Matthews won two stages of the Vuelta in 2013, including the prestigious final stage into Madrid. The traditional final sprint stage does not feature in this year's race but there will still be plenty of chances for the Australian.
After making a fantastic debut at the Giro d'Italia, where he spent the first week in pink, Matthews was expected to ride the Tour de France for the first time. However, a crash just days before the race forced him to quit before the race had even left Leeds.
Chaves is making his Grand Tour debut, after joining Orica-GreenEdge at the beginning of the season. The Colombian's career was almost ended by a heavy accident at the Trofeo Laigueglia in 2013, but he came back this year, and has since taken stages wins in the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse. The team hopes that Chaves can find his way in the general classification.
"It's a bit of a test, a bit of a step up for the future of Esteban, and our team as such, to go into a major tour with thoughts of general classification," said Stephens.
"It is a big ask to say let's go off to the Tour of Spain and try to race in the general classification. But by the same token we will get to the end of the second week and we'll reassess. If it is working, great, but if it's not the year to be able to do that properly then we will just try to refocus on winning a stage win in the mountains in the last week."
Adam Yates gets his chance to show what he can do in a Grand Tour, after his brother got his at the Tour de France. Yates has had a strong first year in the professional ranks, with overall victory at the Tour of Turkey and the youth classification at the Tour de San Luis.
2013 mountains classification winner Simon Clarke, along with Cameron Meyer and Ivan Santaromita, will help support Chaves in the mountains. While Mitch Docker, Brett Lancaster and Sam Bewley will be looking after Matthews on the sprint days.
Orica-GreenEdge team for the Vuelta a España: Adam Yates, Brett Lancaster, Cameron Meyer, Esteban Chaves, Ivan Santaromita, Michael Matthews, Mitch Docker, Sam Bewley and Simon Clarke.
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