Matthews to make season debut at Paris-Nice with Orica-GreenEdge

Simon Yates to target GC at French WorldTour race

Michael Matthews will again start his season at Paris-Nice, 12-months on from claiming a stage and the points classification at the first European WorldTour race of the season. The 25-year-old Orica-GreenEdge rider last raced in October at the Abu Dhabi Tour having taken the silver medal at the 2015 Richmond World Championships. Simon Yates will lead the team's general classification ambitions with support from climber Amets Txurruka in his first stage race outing with the Australian team.

"Michael started his season at Paris-Nice last year," explained Lapage. "He is a rider who is training really well and is professional during the off season, and we saw last year he was ready to race here. I think he is prepared for a good Paris-Nice again," sports director Laurenzo Lapage said.

"With the race not having a hard time trial on the last day it's a great thing for Matthews to also have a go for a good overall. That's something we are going to see throughout the week."

Matthews, who recently completed an altitude camp with Orica-GreenEdge in South Africa, had four top-ten finishes at last year's Paris-Nice, along with his stage 4 victory in Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule that saw him move into the yellow jersey for one day.

Yates was 29th at Paris-Nice last year before going on to finish fifth at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, sixth at Tour de Romandie before claiming the best young rider's jersey by finishing fifth overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The 23-year-old will continue his progression as a GC rider in 2016 with the team while aiming for his first victory with Orica-GreenEdge.

Michael Albasini and Daryl Impey add depth and experience to the squad with both riders capable of challenging for stage wins on the lumpier days. Matthews lead out for the sprint stages will feature Sam Bewley and Mitch Docker with Magnus Cort rounding out the team.

The 74th edition of the 'race to the sun' starts Match 6 with a 6.1km prologue in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Orica-GreenEdge for Paris-Nice: Michael Albasini, Sam Bewley, Magnus Cort, Mitch Docker, Daryl Impey, Michael Matthews, Amets Txurruka and Simon Yates.

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