After two difficult stages in the mountains and Monday’s much appreciated rest day, Orica-GreenEdge are looking forward to continuing their Giro d’Italia, with stage wins their entire focus in the second week.
The Australian team has already enjoyed a fine start the race, winning the opening team time trial, a stage courtesy of Michael Matthews and spells in pink for Matthews, Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke.
“The first nine days couldn’t have gone any better,” Matt White told Cyclingnews.
“We were targeting the team time trial, no surprises there. The guys were able to deliver when they were favourites and to pull that off was an incredible ride.”
“Swapping the jersey like that wasn’t the plan. As we’ve shown, though, is that we have leaders and winners but egos don’t get in the way of what’s in the best interests of the team. So changing the jersey from one person to another still keeps us happy. It was simply about keeping the maglia rosa in the team. It doesn’t matter whose shoulders it’s on.”
Up until stage 8 of the race the team had young Esteban Chaves in a high overall position. However he cracked on stage 8, losing over seven minutes and crashed the following day too. The team publicly stated both before and during the race that the Colombian would focus on stage wins rather than the GC in only his second grand tour, and with the Dolomites yet to come he will likely focus on recovery in the coming days.
That means the team will turn to Gerrans, Matthews, Clarke and others as they hunt stage wins in the second phase of the three-week race.
“The second week of the Giro is probably the easiest of the three when you break it down. The first week has been incredibly hard and aggressive and the final week is always geared towards the Dolomites. We still have the second week and that should be an exciting time for us,” White told Cyclingnews.
“Tthere are going to be stages this week where breaks are going to go and we want to be part of that. I personally haven’t seen such a hard opening week of a grand tour for the last twenty years. What’s surprised me is how much teams have attacked each other or attacked stages, it’s as if it’s been a one-week stage race. I think that will come back to bite a few people in the last week. The Dolomites are still a long way away.”