Simon Gerrans to ride Giro d'Italia

Australian to target stage victories and a spell in the pink jersey

Simon Gerrans will race the Giro d'Italia for the second time in his career this year as he continues to recover from an injury-hit early season.

Gerrans broke his collarbone in a mountain bike crash in December, forcing him to miss the Tour Down Under. The 34-year-old then broke his elbow in his first race of the European season at Strade Bianche. He made his comeback at the Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja, before starting his first stage race of the season the next day at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, withdrawing after the penultimate stage.

Gerrans believes the Giro d'Italia is a good opportunity to get racing miles in his legs and challenge for stage wins and a possibly the race leader's pink jersey early in the race. He anticipates arriving at the Giro in "top condition".

"My only previous start in the Giro was in 2009 with the Cervelo Test Team," Gerrans said in an announcement from his Orica-GreenEdge team "I have great memories from this race, I was fortunate enough to win stage 14 from Campi Bisenzio to San Luca in a breakaway. Also the team won an additional three stages and finished on the podium with Carlos Sastre."

"The Giro is perfectly timed for my first peak of the season," Gerrans added. "In my career to date, I have enjoyed four Grand Tour stage wins and I hope I can add to that at the Giro. I think there are some great opportunities, particularly in the first couple of weeks."

"There are several stages that we anticipate will either finish in a breakaway or in a reduced bunch. If I am able to get a stage result early enough in the race and the team can perform even close to what the guys did in the opening stages last year, then the pink jersey is not out of the question for us."

At the 2014 Giro, Orica-GreenEdge won the opening team time trial with Svein Tuft pulling on the first maglia rosa of the race on his birthday. Michael Matthews assumed the race lead the next day and was wearing the pink jersey when he won stage six. There was further celebration for the team with Pieter Weening winning stage nine.

Both Matthews and Tuft are expected to again be part of Orica-GreenEdge's final roster for the Giro d'Italia. The race starts with a team time trial to San Remo on Saturday May 9.  

 

 

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