Robert Power will make his Orica-BikeExchange debut Friday at the UCI 1.1 Arnhem-Veenendaal having recovered from the rare bone marrow edema discovered last November which delayed his start in the WorldTour peloton. The 20-year-old hasn't raced since the 2015 Tour Alsace with the Australian national U23 team.
"We are very pleased to welcome back our neo-pro Robert Power after a long and tough period off the bike. It is great for him to finally join us and pin on a race number with Orica-BikeExchange. As you can imagine he is very excited to finally begin racing with the team," sports director Dave McPartland said.
The race is expected to suit the fast men with the team to give lead out man and classics rider Mitch Docker an opportunity to pursue a result. Docker crashed heavily in the Arenberg Forest during Paris-Roubaix, suffering several facial issues and broken teeth but has completed several races since and made a full recovery.
"Veenendaal is a mainly flat semi-classic which typically ends in a bunch sprint," said McPartland of the 198.5km race. "We go into this years race without a pure sprinter but we have Australian Mitch Docker who is one of the best lead out men in the business, so it will be good for him to get the opportunity to have a crack himself.
The Spanish trio of Ruben Plaza, Amets Txurruka and mid-season signing Carlos Verona have also been selected in the race and inject further climbing talent. Canadian Christian Meier completes the squad as the road captain.
"We have a compact and balanced squad lined up and we will certainly be ready for all situations especially considering the wind which is always a factor in these Dutch races," added McPartland.
Orica-BikeExchange for Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic: Mitch Docker, Christian Meier, Ruben Plaza, Robert Power, Amets Txurruka and Carlos Verona.