• Luke Durbridge has matured into a classics rider to watch. (Getty)Source: Getty
Luke Durbridge will be a protected rider in the Orica-Scott lineups for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
26 Mar 2017 - 9:28 PM 

A year after Mathew Hayman's Paris-Roubaix triumph, fellow Australian and teammate Luke Durbridge is primed for the European spring classics.

Durbridge will be a protected rider in Orica-Scott's lineup for the Tour of Flanders next Sunday and Paris-Roubaix a week later.

The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix will be broadcast LIVE on SBS Viceland.

While Hayman will defend his Paris-Roubaix title, Durbridge gives Orica-Scott another powerful option.

After building his reputation on the road as a time trial specialist and domestique, the cyclist nicknamed Turbo Durbo now looms as a classics contender.

The West Australian has enjoyed a strong season, but so far has not landed a big win.

In January, he had an epic ride at the Australian championships road race but had to settle for 14th.

After finishing sixth earlier this month at Strade Bianche, Durbridge again showcased his form with four placings at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke in Belgium.

Orica-Scott booked him some rest from Gent Wevelgem, a key lead-up race to the Tour of Flanders.

Instead, the 25-year-old will hone his form at the Three Days of De Panne (Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde) stage race, where he is a regular top-10 finisher.

Then he will try to become the first Australian to win the Tour of Flanders, among cycling's most revered one-day races.

"I will have a well-earned rest, maybe a cold beer while I watch Gent-Wevelgem," Durbridge told Cyclingnews.

"I reckon I've been trying for five years to try to win De Panne.

"I'm going to go there and give it a right old crack for the overall and then have a few days of recovery for Flanders."

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