“We’ll be on the hunt for stage wins,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “We’re not focused on the overall at all. We have a few riders here that are using the Dauphiné as one last tune-up before the Tour. For someone like Simon Gerrans, the focus is on the final hit out. If he can get up with an opportunity in the process, fantastic, but the pressure isn’t really on him for that.”
“The other guys are on the team will be attacking each stage,” Wilson continued. “There aren’t many stages for Michael Matthews, so on the days where it’s a projected sprint, we’ll put all our eggs in his basket. On other days, any of our riders can look for opportunities.”
Wilson is happy to welcome Daniel Teklehaimanot to the start line in Champéry, Switzerland. The Eritrean starts his race season on Sunday.
“It’s very hard to step in from no racing to racing the Dauphiné,” said Wilson. “We’re not putting on pressure on Daniel for this race. We’ll ease him back into things as much as you can ease anyone back into racing with the Dauphiné. If he can give the other guys a hand, great. If he can try something himself, fantastic. We’ll need to see where he’s at during the week.”
Wilson expects a difficult eight days of racing in preparation for the Grand Départ at the end of the month.
“The Dauphiné is always flat out racing,” he said. “It’s a hard week. There are still a lot of riders looking for Tour selection, and it’s one of the last chances they have to shine before their teams make those selections. It’s also a lot of attacking over tough terrain. The names we see at the top of the GC at the end of the week will be the same guys we’ll see in top ten at the Tour de France.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Critérium du Dauphiné: