Orica-GreenEDGE boss Matt White has played down the collective strength of his team heading into the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

On the TT
"This is by far and away the best field ever assembled for an Aussie time trial championship and it's a big call, but I actually think there is no national time trial title anywhere in the world that would have this level of depth.

"(Luke) Durbridge, based on his recent training, is going really strongly and could do it and (Michael) Hepburn is such a calculating athlete, he knows exactly how to get the most out of himself on the day. While (Damien) Howson has prepared well and is also keen to make his mark in such a star studded field.

"I think Rohan Dennis (BMC) is the favourite, especially with him putting his hand up for the world hour record in three weeks time, but I expect all of our guys to be in the mix for medals.

On the road
"It was a big blow not to have (Simon) Gerrans but it's a chance for our other guys to step up.

"We have got multiple options, guys who can win the bike race, and we are just going to ride intelligently to get that job done.

"It's a big race for us to try to win. We want the jersey, on whose shoulder is irrelevant, but at the end of the day we are not the favourites anymore."

At the end of the day Orica-GreenEDGE has something the other favourites, like Cadel Evans (BMC), Richie Porte (Sky), Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) do not, collective strength. They will also have a previous national road champion in Durbridge (2013) in the field. He doubled up in 2013 with a time trial championship and he's now a full fledged pro, and another year stronger.

The TT on the other hand is a brute force event and he's probably right in singling out Rohan Dennis, who will be coming into peak fitness for his hour record attempt, Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) is also doing the hour and will be another threat. The start list has not yet been finalised but the field will be deeply competitive at the top end.

White is a master tactician who knows how to play his cards, so the other teams and riders will be watchful. While national championships are a big deal for all the riders in the field, it matters even more to White and Orica-GreenEDGE, who, as Australia's only WorldTour team, consider it a part of their DNA.