Orica-GreenEdge backing Matthews at Brabantse Pijl

Svein Tuft makes return to racing after Tirreno-Adriatico crash

Orica-GreenEdge will begins its Ardennes campaign at De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne Wednesday with the aim of delivering last year's runner-up Michael Matthews to the top step of the podium. Matthews, 24, has already taken wins at Paris-Nice and Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco wearing the leader's jerseys at both WorldTour races. The Belgian 1.HC race will be Matthews' second one-day race of 2015 having placed third at Milan-San Remo last month.

"This year we will go on the road with a leader in Matthews and we will bring him to the last kilometre in the best possible position," said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. "This is the opener for the Ardennes Classic and you can see there who's ready or not. It's especially an important race mentally."

Joining Matthews for his first race since crashing out of Tirreno-Adriatico is Canadian national champion Svein Tuft and Mat Hayman who will be the road captains for the 205.4km race. Completing the team is 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner Cam Meyer and fellow Australians Brett Lancaster, Leigh Howard and Damien Howson along with Canadian Christian Meier.

Ardennes specialist Simon Gerrans is expected to lead the team at Amstel Gold Race this Sunday, having finished third at the race last year, before defending his Liège-Bastogne-Liège title Sunday week.

Orica-GreenEdge for De Brabantse Pijl – La Flèche Brabançonne: Mathew Hayman, Leigh Howard, Damien Howson, Brett Lancaster, Michael Matthews, Christian Meier, Cameron Meyer and Svein Tuft 

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