Gerrans fine-tuning Tour de France form in Critérium du Dauphiné
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Gerrans fine-tuning Tour de France form in Critérium du Dauphiné

by Shane Stokes at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
Matthews and Clarke also on Orica GreenEdge team, Teklehaimanot will finally make 2013 debut

Simon GerransKeeping the Tour de France in mind as the biggest goal, the Orica GreenEdge team will start the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday intent on chasing results. The squad will include Simon Gerrans, Michael Matthews and Daniel Teklehaimanot, with the latter finally getting his season underway.

“We’ll be on the hunt for stage wins,” confirmed the Sport Director Matt Wilson. “We’re not focused on the overall at all. We have a few riders here that are using the Dauphiné as one last tune-up before the Tour. For someone like Simon Gerrans, the focus is on the final hit out. If he can get up with an opportunity in the process, fantastic, but the pressure isn’t really on him for that.”

Apart from Gerrans, who has taken stages this year in the Tour Down Under, the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the squad will also include the promising sprinter Michael Matthews, last year’s Vuelta a España mountains classification victor Simon Clarke, plus Fumy Beppu, Mitch Docker, Travis Meyer and Wesley Sulzberger.

Also present will be Teklehaimanot, who will finally have the chance to get his season underway after visa issues. “It’s very hard to step in from no racing to racing the Dauphiné,” Wilson said, explaining that the team would be patient. “We’re not putting on pressure on Daniel for this race. We’ll ease him back into things as much as you can ease anyone back into racing with the Dauphiné.

“If he can give the other guys a hand, great. If he can try something himself, fantastic. We’ll need to see where he’s at during the week.”

As for the rest of the team, he’s clear on what he wants them to do. “The other guys are on the team will be attacking each stage,” Wilson continued. “There aren’t many stages for Michael Matthews, so on the days where it’s a projected sprint, we’ll put all our eggs in his basket. On other days, any of our riders can look for opportunities.”

He sees the race as a chance for the riders to go deep and get a good pre-Tour workout, to push themselves forwards as candidates for selection and also as a means to an end in itself, in terms of boosting team morale with some more wins.

“The Dauphiné is always flat out racing,” Wilson explained. “It’s a hard week. There are still a lot of riders looking for Tour selection, and it’s one of the last chances they have to shine before their teams make those selections.

“It’s also a lot of attacking over tough terrain. The names we see at the top of the GC at the end of the week will be the same guys we’ll see in top ten at the Tour de France.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Critérium du Dauphiné:

Daniel Teklehaimanot
Fumy Beppu
Michael Matthews
Mitch Docker
Simon Clarke
Simon Gerrans
Travis Meyer
Wesley Sulzberger


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