Goss, Matthews and Gerrans headline for Orica-GreenEdge at the Santos Tour Down Under
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goss, Matthews and Gerrans headline for Orica-GreenEdge at the Santos Tour Down Under

by Ben Atkins at 3:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Mat Hayman to make his debut for Australian team in his eighth race appearance

simon gerransOrica-GreenEdge will be sending the twin-pronged sprint attack of Matt Goss and Michael Matthews to the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as the overall ambitions of two-time race winner Simon Gerrans. The Australian ProTeam is naturally keen to perform in its home race, which will open the 2014 WorldTour on January 21st.

“As an Australian team, this is a very important race for us,” said directeur sportif Matt White. “We always want to do well at the Tour Down Under. We have a strong team, and everyone is really motivated to bring home some good results in front of our Australian fans. We’re targeting stage wins and focused on the overall. We have a number of options to achieve these goals.”

Although the team is taking both Goss and Matthews - both of whom have taken a stage victory in the race - the decision has yet to be made as to which of the Australians will be the team’s number one sprinter in the race.

“It’s natural that people will want to know who we’re working for in the sprints,” said White “The honest answer is that we don’t know yet. We’re going to have to wait to get closer to the day to make that decision. The races in the first half of January will give us some indication, but we may not know until we see what happens out on the road during the Tour Down Under.”

Gerrans won the race in 2006 and 2012, and took the Queen stage to Old Willunga Hill in 2013. His overall ambitions for the last edition of the race had already been foiled after missing the split on stage two, but this time the former Milano-Sanremo winner and TOur de France yellow jersey has the race in his sights again.

“This race certainly suits Gerro’s characteristics,” said White. “He’s put a big emphasis on the race during the last two years, and he has done the same again for the upcoming season. He had an early exit to last year with a broken hip. Now he’s fresh, fit and very motivated.”

The team’s two sprinters, and general classification rider will be supported by climber Simon Clarke and time trial powerhouse Luke Durbridge - who should be on form after focusing on his national title just weeks beforehand - and South African Tour de France yellow jersey Daryl Impey.

The race will also see a debut in the colours of Orica-GreenEdge for Australian veteran Mathew Hayman, who is transferring to the team after four years at Team Sky, and starts as road captain in his eighth edition of the Santos Tour Down Under.

“Mat has been around the block a number of times at the Tour Down Under,” said White. “This is his first time working for us of course, and we’re very excited to have him onboard. His experience will be a huge big benefit to our team.”

Orica-GreenEdge for Santos Tour Down Under:
Daryl Impey, Luke Durbridge, Matt Goss, Mathew Hayman, Michael Matthews, Simon Clarke, Simon Gerrans

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