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On Wednesday, race organizers ASO unveiled the route for the 2023 race with just 22km of time trialing and a stack of stages suited to both the breakaway exploits of Matthews and the sprint powers of Groenewegen.
Both riders won Tour de France stages in 2022, while Yates has already indicated that he is ready to target the maillot jaune for the first time in his career. Such a scenario could allow new signing Eddie Dunbar to captain the team at the Giro d’Italia in May.
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General manager Brent Copeland told VeloNews that the team was very much on a planning footing at present, but he welcomed ASO’s climber-friendly, sprint-heavy route.
“There are a lot of short, hard stages with a lot of climbing in those kilometers. That suits us a lot,” he told VeloNews.
“There aren’t as many sprint stages as I expected but they have said there are eight flat stages. In general, it looks good. I was surprised with just the one time trial but there are four or five pure sprint stages, which is good for us. There are stages that suit Michael, and it’s a very nice route for Simon too. We have to sit down with Matt White and the performance group to decide what we do, but on paper, it looks very encouraging for us.”
When asked if Groenewegan, Yates, and Matthews could line up in the Basque Country on July 1, Copeland replied: “Yes but we have to see how much support Dylan would need in the sprints and how much support Simon would need because that central section, when you go through the medium mountains, you’re going to need domestiques to look after your captain. I think it’s something that could happen but we need to look at the options. Now that we have the Giro and Tour route we can start to plan.”