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Matthews to lead Orica-GreenEdge ambition for Tour de Suisse stage wins

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Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: ASO)
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Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) won the final stage of the Tour de Romandie in Geneva.

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) won the final stage of the Tour de Romandie in Geneva. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Mathew Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge)

Mathew Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: ASO)
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Sam Bewley out on course

Sam Bewley out on course (Image credit: Jayco Herald Sun Tour)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Amets Txurruka driving the breakaway

Amets Txurruka driving the breakaway (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/
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Danish champion Chris Juul Jensen (Orica-GreenEdge)

Danish champion Chris Juul Jensen (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Magnus Cort (Orica-GreenEdge)

Magnus Cort (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Shayne Bannan with new signing King Lok Cheung

Shayne Bannan with new signing King Lok Cheung (Image credit: Orica-GreenEdge)

Orica-GreenEdge head to the 80th edition of the Tour de Suisse with the aim of repeating its stage win success from 2015 with Michael Matthews. Swiss rider Michael Albasini will provide further options for stage wins with sports director Neil Stephens explaining the team is looking to hit the ground running.

"We are going in with really high hopes of pulling off a stage win," said Stephens. "We have some handy bike riders, really strong guys. We've got a lot of firepower for this race. These guys can be really, really powerful in the first road stages."

"We aren't going in with any real major climbers and that helps to strengthen up the team we have for the early stages."

Matthews hasn't raced since La Flèche Wallonne, when he placed 21st, and will start just his second stage race of the season following Paris-Nice where he won the prologue, stage 2 and the points classification.

"The first possible stage win is right from the get go, I'm really sure Matthews can give the prologue a good hit out," Stephens said of the 25-year-old. "He's been working really well at altitude and has been working with his time trial bike over the last couple of weeks.

"He's really keen to do well, as all the guys are but he's proven in the past when he sets an objective to go well in a prologue he can pull it off as he did in Paris-Nice."

The team has also selected Sam Bewley, Magnus Cort, Luke Durbridge and Chris Juul-Jensen to look after Matthews in the bunch sprint finishes but first could give the prologue a nudge. Paris-Roubaix winner Mat Hayman adds experience to the relatively youthful squad and will act as the road captain. 

Basque climber Amets Txurruka, who recently helped Esteban Chaves to second at last month's Giro d'Italia, will be given freedom to pursue his own opportunities in the high mountains

"We could be a bit light on by the end of the race, we know that right from the outset, but at the same time a few of these guys can hit out and really try their chances on the hillier final stages, especially Amets Txurruka," said Stephens. "These guys usually work for other riders throughout the year have got a chance to shine towards the end of the week."

The Tour de Suisse gets underway on June 11 with a 6.6km prologue in Baar, which also hosts stage 1, and concludes the weekend of June 18-19 in Davos with a time trial, then mountain stage.

Orica-GreenEdge for 2016 Tour de Suisse: Michael Albasini, Sam Bewley, Magnus Cort, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman, Chris Juul-Jensen, Michael Matthews and Amets Txurruka.