Orica-GreenEdge backing Albasini for Fleche Wallonne success

Orica-GreenEdge line up at La Flèche Wallonne with Michael Albasini as its trump card for the 196km Belgian classic. Albasini was third at last year's race having also finished on the podium in 2012 when the Swiss rider was second.

From nine starts, Albasini has six top-ten results and sports director Matt White has assembled a team to challenge for another result atop the Mur de Huy as he explained.

"We've done well here over the last few years," said White. "Michael (Albasini) has repeatedly achieved good results here and he deserves to be our leader on Wednesday.

"Michael works tirelessly for the team as we saw in Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, he is giving his all for 90% of our races for others and this is where he gets his chance to be the protected rider."

Albasini is yet to crack the top-ten in 2016 but started the 2015 edition of Flèche Wallonne with a similar list of early-season results to suggest he knows when to peak at the right time.

"We are going into the race with a strong team capable of performing well," added White. "It is always a hard race with an undulating parcours and one of the most challenging final kilometres of any race. We will be competitive and hopefully we can get Michael to where he needs to be to contest the finale."

The race makes three ascents of the Mur du Huy in total with the third climb set to decide the winner in 2016. Orica-GreenEdge's team for the race contains a mix of experienced and young riders who will be called upon to position Albasini in prime position at the base of the Mur.

Climbers Adam Yates and Jack Haig will be called upon to support Albasini when the roads go upwards while Paris-Roubaix winner Mat Hayman, Christian Meier, Chris Juul Jensen and Jens Keukeleire will aim to keep the 35-year-old safe elsewhere.

Having placed fifth at Amstel Gold Race, Michael Matthews makes his third appearance at the mid-week Ardennes classic with a possible start on Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège also on the cards and completes the roster.

Orica-GreenEdge for La Flèche-Wallonne: Michael Albasini, Jack Haig, Mathew Hayman, Chris Juul Jensen, Jens Keukeleire, Michael Matthews, Christian Meier and Adam Yates. 

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