Team Orica-GreenEdge Reveals Roster for Giro d'Italia 2012

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04/24/2012| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen
Team Greenedge has announced its Giro d'Italia roster. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team Greenedge has announced its Giro d'Italia roster. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Team Orica-GreenEdge Reveals Roster for Giro d'Italia 2012

Earlier today Australian Team Orica-GreenEdge revealed its roster and ambitions for the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

Earlier today Australian Team Orica-GreenEdge revealed its roster and ambitions for the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

According to Team GreenEdge sports director Matt White, the team's Giro line-up has been built with a focus on stage wins, specifically during the first two weeks of the three week Grand Tour where the GreenEdge team hopes to be able to conquer the maglia rosa leader's jersey.

"We're solely focused on stage wins," White told "We've said that from the beginning. We definitely don't have anyone for the general classification. Most of our riders will have a chance for individual stage wins, and Matt Goss is our leader for the sprints."

The team's eyes are sharply focused on the Giro's team time trial.

"I expect the team to be competitive during the early stages," White added. "We have a strong team for the stage four team time trial in Verona. A dream scenario would be to put Goss in the pink leader's jersey during the first week, either right before or right after the team time trial. There are a few teams with the same goal as us. If we're on the mark very early in Denmark, I'll be happy."

White views Goss' participation in the Giro d'Italia as crucial preparation for the Tour de France in July. White sees the Tour de France as the team's biggest goal of the whole 2012 season.

"The Giro is an important race for Matt Goss," White described. "He's got good form at the Tour of Turkey at the moment, and the idea is that he'll hit the ground running at the Giro. He'll have a lot of chances for stage wins. The time he does in Denmark and Italy will set him up for the Tour de France, which is the biggest goal for both him and the team."

The team has selected Brett Lancaster, Tomas Vaitkus and Jens Keukeleire as the key riders in the team's sprint train, which aims to set up Goss perfectly in the Giro sprints. Unfortunately for the team, it hasn't had much time to practice the lead out process in races this season. Lancaster has been chosen for the Giro roster and lead-out train as a result of Julian Dean's injuries this season and the team is hoping to take advantage of Lancaster's significant experience.

"Brett and Matt are riding together for the first time at the Tour of Turkey. We've had a lot of different things happen with our sprint train already this season. Julian Dean was our main lead-out man for Goss, but he hasn't raced much after a broken shoulder in December, and a broken leg in March has taken him out of racing. Brett has put his hand up to fill Julian's spot and he's the right guy for the job. The stress and competitiveness of this race is huge and that's where Brett comes in."

Vaitkus will fill a similar role to Lancaster.

"We expect Tomas to be part of the lead-out train in both the Giro and the Tour," White commented and added "Because of how the season has panned out, he hasn't had the opportunity to race with Goss in the sprints other than at Tirreno. We're looking at seven chances to refine the sprint at the Giro, so Tomas will be critical."

White has made the risky move of selecting Grand Tour newcomer Keukeleire to be part of the sprint train which is so crucial to Goss' success in the sprints. White hopes the experience will help further Keukeleire's development as a sprinter in his own right.

"Keukeleire will learn a lot from the sprint stages in the first two weeks," White believes. "He's a good sprinter himself and to be part of a world class sprint team will benefit him. The strength he gains from his first Grand Tour will carry into the summer, and I expect he'll be a new man come late summer and autumn this year."

Team GreenEdge has picked Svein Tuft and Jack Bobridge for the task of looking after and protecting Goss as well as setting the pace in the team time trial, while using the Grand Tour as an important part of their preparation for this year's London Olympics.

"Svein has had solid form since February. He's a rider I can count on to line up and get the work done. The team time trial is a huge goal, and Svein is critical in our success in this discipline."

Commenting on Bobridge's participation White told "The Giro will be Jack's first road race since the Nationals. He'll start a little bit behind as he finds his road legs after the Track Worlds. Luckily, Jack adapts quickly. He's a hard guy and he'll be very useful in catching break-aways."

Fumiyuki Beppu, Christian Meier and Daryl Impey fill in the remaining space in the team roster and have been chosen for their reliability and durability in long races.

"I have worked with Christian for a couple of years now, and you know what you get with him. He's a solid teammate that completely dedicates himself to the team goals. He's done the Vuelta a Espana in the past, but this is his first Giro d'Italia. I'm sure he'll have plenty of chances to show us his strengths."

Unlike Meier, Beppu is no stranger to the Giro. White will look to the Japanese all-rounder to help Goss in the sprints as he prepares for the London Olympics.

"Beppu has specialized in the cobbled classics previously, and this year, we've seen him at the more hilly races like the Ardennes. He'll use the Giro as a platform to prepare for the Olympics while he looks after Goss and takes his own chances," White commented.

According to White, Daryl Impey, the second Grand Tour newcomer in the team's nine-man Giro roster, earned a spot at the Giro due to his standout performances this year.

"Daryl has had a great season so far with his first WorldTour win," White explained. "He's been absolutely super for the team in every race he has done this season. I'm looking forward to giving him opportunities at the Giro."

For the GreenEdge riders and the team management the start of the team's first Grand Tour is a big moment and is eagerly anticipated.

"It's a big moment. Every race this year has been a big moment because everything we experience is our first. We've already ticked a lot of boxes, and the Giro has always been high on the list. We really want to leave with a stage win. Aside from the Tour de France, this is the biggest race of the year. We have a very motivated group going into the Tour of Italy next week."

Team Orica-GreenEDGE roster for the 2012 Giro d'Italia:
Matthew Goss (AUS), Brett Lancaster (AUS), Daryl Impey (RSA), Jack Bobridge (AUS), Tomas Vaitkus (LTU), Jens Keukeleire (BEL), Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN), Christian Meier (CAN), and Svein Tuft (CAN)

Watch video highlights from all stages of the 2012 Giro d'Italia in the video section (US only) here on Stay tuned for our complete Giro d'Italia coverage and spread the word.

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