Orica-GreenEdge's 2015 European campaign begins this weekend with back-to-back races in France at the La Classic Sud Ardèche and La Drôme Classic with several riders to make their 2015 season debuts. Esteban Chaves, Adam and Simon Yates will pin on a race number for the first time this season while new recruit Magnus Cort makes his first appearance in Orica-GreenEdge colours.
With the Yates brothers and Chaves set to assume great leadership roles this season after impressive results and performances in 2014 as the team's general classification riders, McPartland added the two French races are good tests for the trio early.
"Particularly the Yates brothers, these guys are full of confidence after a good first year so are looking for opportunities like these races and they will get it for sure," sport director David McPartland said. "It's also the perfect race for them to start showing some leadership and for some of them it's the first time they will have that leadership.
"This year, the Yates brothers and Chaves will have leadership roles in WorldTour races so this weekend's racing is a great opportunity to introduce them to that leadership responsibility before they take it onto WorldTour level," he added.
Proving support at the races, which are characterised by undulating parcours, are Christian Meier, Ivan Santaromita, Michael Albasini and Daryl Impey fresh from defending his South African national time trial title.
"The races are sometimes considered the French equivalent of the Belgian Classics and that's exactly what they are," McPartland said of the 198km and 2012km races respectively.
"It's really lumpy and a really taxing course and French racing is typically quite aggressive. Really, the most likely outcome is that it comes to a select group finish on both days."
Should the race finish in a bunch sprint, GreenEdge will be able to call upon Cort who already had four professional wins to his name at the age of 22.
"The La Classic Sud Ardèche last year had a group of 30-40 odd riders at the finish and at La Drôme Classic there was only about 15 at the finish," McPartland said.
"If that is the case again, then I would expect we would have a good presence in numbers there with guys that can get around that course and still finish it off for us."
Orica-GreenEdge for La Classic Sud Ardèche (28 February) and La Drôme Classic (1 March): Michael Albasini, Esteban Chaves, Magnus Cort, Daryl Impey, Christian Meier, Ivan Santaromita, Adam Yates and Simon Yates,
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.