• Michael Matthews will hope to win his first career Tour de France stage (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Orica-GreenEDGE will look to Simon Gerrans and Michael Matthews for stage victories while hoping for strong performances from twin brothers Adam and Simon Yates during its Tour de France campaign.
By
Cycling Central

30 Jun 2015 - 7:46 PM  UPDATED 30 Jun 2015 - 7:52 PM

It was expected that Gerrans and Matthews would share the load in the team's search for stage wins but the 22-year-old Yates brothers should bring a new dimension to a team that traditionally has not been a factor in the high mountains.

“This is the most well rounded and balanced team we have ever sent to a Grand Tour,” team director Matt White said. “We have a lot of opportunities right throughout the three weeks, where as at Tour’s in the past we haven’t had guys who can win high mountain stages.”

“The goal for us is stage victories and because of the quality of this team, everyone will be given a chance to win a stage. With so many options right across the board, the month ahead is a pretty exciting prospect.”

The Yates pair will aim for at least one stage win in the mountain stages. Simon rode in last year's Tour, while this will be Adam's debut at the race.

It will be the first time since the team's debut in 2012 that Orica-GreenEDGE have gone into the Tour with contenders for the big mountain stages.

“I think it would be pretty irresponsible for us to put pressure on 22-year-olds, as second year pros, to ride general classification at the Tour de France,” White said. “For both of them, it’s the first Tour de France they are aiming on finishing and so the plan is to gain more experience at the highest level in our sport.”

“What they have proven this year is that they have the ability to be very competitive on a lot of varied terrains and against the best riders in the world.

“We are aiming to win a stage with them. If they can hunt out the right move, then on any given day they certainly have the ability to win.”

Gerrans will ride in his 10th Tour after crash marred season, while Matthews will be making his Tour debut after he was forced out last year with a training crash only a few days before the race started.

"Even though it has been an unfortunate year injury wise for Simon, the build up he has had over these last two months has been pretty ideal,” White said. “He is ready to roll and since this teams inception has been one of our most reliable athletes, we have our eyes on some suitable targets for him.” 

“And Michael is certainly ready for the Tour de France after last year’s false start.

“The goal for him is to win a stage and there are good opportunities right throughout the Tour for him. The green jersey, despite much hype, is not on our agenda this year.”

Luke Durbridge is the other Australian in the team's nine-rider Tour lineup along with Michael Albasini (SUI), Daryl Impey (RSA), Svein Tuft (CAN) and Pieter Weening (NED) round out the Orica-GreenEDGE Tour selection.

Orica-GreenEDGE for the Tour de France
Michael Albasini (SUI), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Daryl Impey (RSA), Michael Matthews (AUS), Svein Tuft (CAN), Pieter Weening (NED), Adam Yates (GBR) and Simon Yates (GBR).