Clarke, Davis and Howard lead Orica GreenEdge hopes in Tour of Beijing
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clarke, Davis and Howard lead Orica GreenEdge hopes in Tour of Beijing

by VeloNation Press at 5:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Australian team motivated to end first season on a high

Simon ClarkeOn a high after winning a stage and taking the King of the Mountains classification in his debut Grand Tour, this year’s Vuelta a España, Simon Clarke heads to the Tour of Beijing with more success in mind.

The 26 year old Australian will be one of the strong cards in the Orica GreenEdge deck, and will seek to use that same climbing ability to land a big result in the team’s final WorldTour event of the year.

“Simon is obviously in great form,” said directeur sportif Laurenzo Lapage. “He is one of several cards we can play at the Tour of Beijing. He came out strong from the Vuelta and showed at the World’s and the Tour of Lombardy that he’s still really motivated to race hard.”

Four of the team’s eight riders for the race competed in the Vuelta, namely Clarke, Allan Davis, Mitch Docker and Wes Sulzberger. The remainder of the team for Beijing will be made up of Leigh Howard, Aidis Kroupis, Sebastian Langeveld and Christian Meier.

While Clarke will likely be the rider to target the overall, Davis and Howard will aim for success on the sprint stages after showing fine performances in the past month. Howard beat then-world champion Mark Cavendish to take a stage of the Tour of Britain, while Davis was a strong sixth in the world road race championships.

“Depending out how the stages play out, we should be in with a chance for a win in the sprints too,” asserted Lapage. “With Allan and Leigh we have a couple of really fast guys who want to end the year with a nice victory.”

The team started its first season in the best possible way when Simon Gerrans won the national road race championships, then triumphed in the Santos Tour Down Under and Milan-SanRemo. Its Tour de France campaign wasn’t as successful as it had hoped but it has impressed in other races, with the list of wins including Matt Goss’s stage win in the Tour of Beijing, Michael Abasini’s Volta a Catalunya triumph plus Tour de Suisse stage victory, Gerrans’ GP de Québec triumph and first year pro Luke Durbridge’s time trial victory plus overall success in the Tour du Poitou Charentes.

Lapage says the team is fired up to end the year in the best way possible. “We’re going to China to chase a good result for the team. We have had an amazing debut on the WorldTour and to finish it off on a high note is a big priority for us,” he said. “We’re going with a top motivated group of riders for this.”

The Tour of Beijing begins on Tuesday and runs for five days.

Orica-GreenEDGE for 2012 Tour of Beijing:

Simon Clarke, Allan Davis, Mitch Docker, Leigh Howard, Aidis Kroupis, Sebastian Langeveld, Christian Meier, Wes Sulzberger


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