• A second-place finish in Brabantse Pijl indicates Michael Matthews is in good form ahead of the Amstel Gold Race. (Sirotti Images)
Simon Gerrans will have the rare role of domestique at an Ardennes Classic as he continues a second comeback from injury this season.
16 Apr 2015 - 7:52 AM 

SBS will broadcast the Amstel Gold Race live on Sunday.

Gerrans usually is the team leader at Amstel Gold, where he has three podium finishes.

Last year he also became the first Australian to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, another of the big Ardennes races in April.

But Gerrans is still returning to peak form and will ride in support of Orica-GreenEDGE team-mate Michael Matthews when Sunday's Amstel Gold kicks off the Ardennes classics.

Late last year, Gerrans broke his collarbone while mountain biking and this ruined his January campaign in Australia.

His first race back was in early March at Italy's Strade Bianche, where he fell again and cracked a bone in his elbow.

Matthews, 24, has enjoyed strong European form so far this year, winning a stage in Paris-Nice and another in Spain's Vuelta al Pais Vasco. He finished second in the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.

"The Ardennes has been a really good hunting ground for us since our inception," said Orica-GreenEDGE director Matt White.

"We are confident Michael will be very competitive for us again on Sunday.

"It's a course that suits his characteristics, we have a really strong team to support him and he has shown good form.

“For us as well, we have taken this core Classics group up to the Ardennes for the last three years so they are attuned to the demands of the race, these guys work seamlessly together and it makes a huge difference."

White identifies the final climb, which has seen the race won in recent years by solo or duo moves, as crucial.

“The Cauberg, which is the last climb of the day takes you to just outside the final kilometre of the race, is one where the race is certainly lost."

Orica-GreenEDGE for Amstel Gold: Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Simon Clarke (AUS), Daryl Impey (RSA), Michael Albasini (SWI), Pieter Weening (NED), Christian Meier (CAN).

SBS will broadcast the Amstel Gold Race from 2230 AEST on SBS ONE on Sunday night with online streaming here at Cycling Central.