Podium finishes expected in Holland
GreenEdge Cycling has named their team time trial rosters for the UCI Road World Championships with the discipline returning following an 18-year absence on September 16. Both Orica-GreenEdge and Orica-AIS believe they are capable of finishing on the podium.
Orica-GreenEdge has already proved themselves in their inaugural season with victories at Tirreno-Adriatico and Eneco Tour. Sports director Matt White is hoping the trend will continue in Holland.
"If the guys ride to their ability, they will be right in the mix for the win," said White. "We're lucky to have a lot of talent for this discipline and we've planned well to keep riders fresh for this objective. The team has put forth significant effort in preparing for success."
The team is headlined by Australian National Time Trial Champion Luke Durbridge and Canadian National Time Trial Champion Svein Tuft. They will be joined by chrono specialists Cameron Meyer, Sam Bewley, Sebastian Langeveld and Jens Mouris.
Throughout the season, Orica-AIS has finished runners-up to Specialized-lululemon over three occasions. The team is yet to be fully finalised with the line-up to be confirmed following the Brain Wash Ladies Toer. At present the team consists of World Time Trial Champion Judith Arndt, world time trial silver medallist Linda Villumsen and Australian National Time Trial Champion Shara Gillow.
"Our preliminary roster includes Ardnt, Villumsen and Gillow joined by Alex Rhodes, Melissa Hoskins and Loes Gunnewijk," said Sports director Martin Barras. "Claudia Häusler is the reserve rider.
Both White and Barras maintain that this particular team time trial poses unique challenges. The men's course is run over 53.2km and the women's is 34.2km.
"This is a special course," noted Barras. "Traditionally, team time trials are held over flatter, straighter circuits to allow teams to express sheer power. This course is almost the opposite. We face two substantial climbs, including the Cauberg, over a technical circuit. The tactics and techniques we need are different than what we've employed in other team time trials we've raced this year."
"We're looking at what will amount to a one hour effort for the men," added White. "There are very few riders of this generation with experience racing team time trials of that distance. When included in races, most team time trials are 15-30 kilometers long. The length alone is a challenge. A lot of teams are struggling to put six guys into top condition for that type of effort at this time of year."