Orica GreenEdge finished the week-long Tour of Alberta stage race with two jerseys, a stage win, and overall runner-up with Adam Yates. The squad leaves with good form and confidence heading to the Grand Prix one-day Classics in Quebec and Montreal before several riders' head to the World Championships in Richmond at the end of the month.
"We have had a good week here," team director Dave McPartland said. "We didn't walk away with the overall win but we still managed second with Adam [Yates], had a stage win with Michael [Matthews], and the time trial boys got another good hit out before the World Championships."
After losing stage one by less than a second in the team time trial, Michael Matthews won stage 2 by bike throw, moving into the overall lead for a day. Adam Yates then finished third on successive stages moving up to second on GC and into the lead of the best young riders classification.
The team saw themselves on the unfortunate side of stage 5, caught in the confusion of the finishing circuit after the peloton was misdirected although there was no GC consequence for Yates. After a cold and wet weather, the sun finally made an appearance on the last day of the race for stage 6 on the Edmonton city circuit.
With memories of Daryl Impey's final stage win last year still a fresh memory, the team fought to set Matthews up for the win and push Yates into the overall lead. There was to be no repeat though as Matthews narrowly lost the stage Nikias Arndt of Giant-Alpecin as Yates kept his second place overall. However second place was enough to earn Matthews the points classification jersey for the race, his second of the year after Paris-Nice.
Unable to overcome the six seconds deficit to Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Yates nevertheless emulated the feats of twin brother Simon in claiming the white best young rider jersey.
"We went in with a two-pronged strategy today," McPartland said. "We all knew it was a big ask to change the overall seedings but we wanted to try.
"Adam had to get away on the hill of the final lap but it really wasn't hard enough to break things up. We also had Michael ready for the sprint; which was the more likely of the two scenarios. We used a few guys to cover some late moves in the last half of the final lap but in the end Michael couldn't go with the speed of the winner."