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by Shane Stokes
November 10, 2017
Whelan leading Tour of Tasmania; Tour of Hainan aggressor handed lengthy ban by Chinese federation, team also suspended; Movistar chief Unzué calls for substitutions in Grand Tours; Orica-Scott confident in finalised 2018 line-up; Unsponsored British quartet take on world’s best in track World Cups; Women charged over hit and run which left 13 year old fighting for life; Video: Sagan chases bike ‘thief’; Video: Lotto-Soudal presents 2018 team jersey; Video: Ex-engineer leaks how marketing works in the bike industry
Saying that it will be ‘stronger in all areas’ in 2018, the Orica-Scott team has finalized its lineup with five additions to the squad. Newcomers include multiple Vuelta a España stage winner Matteo Trentin, Basque climber Mikel Nieve, promising young rider Lucas Hamilton, Jack Bauer and Cameron Meyer, who returns to the team following a short retirement and then a stint with the Australian national squad plus Mitchelton Scott.
Six riders are departing the team, including Classics winner Simon Gerrans, meaning it will have 25 on its roster for 2018. Despite that slight reduction, head sport director Matt White is confident. “We are in a better place than we were 12months ago in all areas,” he said. “One of the reasons for that is we have bought very well; our new signings definitely compliment the squad we already have in place.
“For example, Trentin and Bauer are two riders who are going to bolster our Classics group and also add a lot to our sprint train around Caleb Ewan. So I am sure we will see significant gains for us in those two areas.” As for the team’s GC hopes, he believes another signing will help the chances of the Yates brothers and Esteban Chaves.
“Obviously bringing in a rider like Nieve, who has been one of Chris Froome’s right hand men through numerous Grand Tours is a great signing for us,” he said. “He will be playing a similar role here and lending his experience and support to our younger GC guys while also being very capable of winning some big races in his own right.”
White said that the team was aiming for success in the Tour of Flanders, identifying it as the one monument the team is yet to win. He said that stage wins and the general classification in the three Grand Tours is a priority.