GreenEdge chooses a team to chase stages in the Giro d’Italia
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GreenEdge chooses a team to chase stages in the Giro d’Italia

by Ben Atkins at 10:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Aussie ProTeam “excited and nervous” ahead of its debut Grand Tour; hopes for an early stint in pink

matt gossWith less than two weeks to go until the start of the Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of the year, GreenEdge has named its nine man roster for its first ever three-week race. The Australian team will not be taking a contender for the overall victory, but goes to the race chasing stage victories and aiming at an early stint in the maglia rosa, as well as giving experience to some of its younger stars.

“The first priority in selecting a Grand Tour roster is identifying the goals of the team," said directeur sportif Matt White. “From there, you build a team that can meet those goals. The second thing we take into consideration is the development of the riders. The third part of our selection is choosing riders who are preparing for goals later in the season such as the Olympics and the Tour de France. Our roster reflects a combination of these three elements.

“We're solely focused on stage wins,” he explained. “We've said that from the beginning. We definitely don't have anyone for the general classification. Most of our riders will have a chance for individual stage wins, and Matt Goss is our leader for the sprints.”

Although the Aussie team will not be aiming at overall victory, time bonuses in the sprints, and the early team time trial, give the team hope of spending some time in the race lead.

“I expect the team to be competitive during the early stages,” White continued. “We have a strong team for the stage four team time trial in Verona. A dream scenario would be to put Goss in the pink leader's jersey during the first week - either right before or right after the team time trial. There are a few teams with the same goal as us. If we're on the mark very early in Denmark, I'll be happy.

“The Giro is an important race for Matt Goss,” he explained. “He's got good form at the Tour of Turkey, and the idea is that he'll hit the ground running at the Giro. He'll have a lot of chances for stage wins. The time he does in Denmark and Italy will set him up for the Tour de France, which is the biggest goal for both him and the team.”

While Goss will be riding the race with ambitions of taking results, and preparing himself for later targets, Jack Bobridge - one of the team’s big name Australians - will be one of those looking for experience, in what will be his second Giro. The 22-year-old Individual Pursuit World record holder has done very little racing on the road this season however, having been concentrating on the track.

“The Giro will be Jack's first road race since Nationals,” White explained. “He'll start a little bit behind as he finds his road legs after Track Worlds. Luckily, Jack adapts quickly. He's a hard guy and he'll be very useful in catching break-aways.”

“Aside from the Tour de France, this is the biggest race of the year,” he added. “We have a very motivated group going into the Tour of Italy next week.”

“It's an exciting time,” concurred the team’s general manager, Shayne Bannan. “We're all very excited and quite nervous as well. Grand Tours are big races for everyone involved. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure that we're ready for our Grand Tour debut next week. I have great confidence in our group and the previous months have shown that we're up for the task”

GreenEdge team for the Giro d'Italia
Brett Lancaster, Christian Meier, Daryl Impey, Fumiyuki Beppu, Jack Bobridge, Jens Keukeleire, Matt Goss, Svein Tuft and Tomas Vaitkus

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