Yates heads to Vuelta a Asturias hungry for victory as part of his final preparation for the Giro d’Italia – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Briton Simon Yates will headline a strong Team BikeExchange-Jayco squad, lining-up at tomorrow’s 64th edition of the Tour of Asturias. Coming of the back of an altitude training camp, the 29-year-old is looking to test the legs and fight for the victory in the hilly three-day event with big ambitions to win and eyes on the final short and relentless stage.
Alongside the Team BikeExchange-Jayco leader will be strong climbers Nick Schultz, Damien Howson and Tanel Kangert, with powerful all-rounders Chris Juul-Jensen, Callum Scotson and Lawson Craddock also looking to test their legs in the hills after various training camps.
The first stage between Oviedo and Pola de Lena will consist of 169km, with the novelty of a circuit in the council of Llanera and an ascent to Alto de la Miranda, in addition to the passes through the high of La Gargantada (3rd category), Alto de La Colladona (1st cat), La Cabaña (3rd), Fresneo (3rd cat) and Carabanzo (3rd cat).

The second stage, starting in Candás, with the Aristébano (2nd cat) and Forcayao (3rd cat) climbs which will serve as an appetiser for the traditional ascent to the top of El Acebo (1st cat), will be followed by a descent to reach the finish line in Cangas del Narcea, after a lengthy 202 kilometres of racing.
The final stage, between Cangas del Narcea and Oviedo, is a short 122-kilometre route which will see the peloton face the Alto del Violeo (2nd category) in the final kilometres.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Damien Howson (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Simon Yates
“The Vuelta a Asturias is the last challenge before the start of the Giro in Hungary. Compared to the previous year, I wanted to change my racing calendar, and these three stages will help me refine my preparation.

A few days ago, we concluded the training camp in Andorra, we worked hard, and I think it went well. In Asturias I’ll have a lot of the teammates who will be with me in the Giro, so it will be a good opportunity to test the legs and tactics.”
Matthew White – Sport Director
“The plan for us at Vuelta a Asturias is a simple one: it is to win. We are taking the vast majority of our Giro d’Italia team, it’s like a dress rehearsal before our main goal of this Spring. This race is a perfect opportunity for us to get together one last time as a team going through the process of how we race and for example, put Simon in a good position to try to win. 

Last year we did the same at the Tour of Alps but this season we did things a little bit differently, but we are going to this race and after to the Giro with the same mentality.”
2022 Vuelta Ciclista a Asturias – Stages Details:
Friday, 29th April, Stage 1: Oviedo – Pola de Lena, 169km
Saturday, 30th April, Stage 2:  Candás – Cangas del Narcea, 202km
Sunday, 1st May, Stage 3: Cangas del Narcea – Oviedo, 122km

Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Matthews hungry for an Ardennes podium lining-up with a versatile support team for Flèche Wallonne & Liège-Bastogne-Liège – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Australian Michael Matthews will lead a mixed Team BikeExchange-Jayco squad at the coming Ardennes Classics, Flèche Wallonne & Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with the team lining-up with high confidence after the Australian’s recent strong and consistent performances.
The 31-year-old finished seventh in his last two races, Amstel Gold Race and Brabantse Pilj after making it into the front splits but is hungry to snatch a podium placing this week, after previously finishing in fourth place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and fifth place in Flèche Wallonne.
Surrounding Matthews will be a versatile team boasting various talents from the strength of experienced Chris Juul-Jensen, Jack Bauer, Tsgabu Grmay and Nick Schultz, through to the youthful motivation of Alexandre Balmer, Jesus David Peña and Jan Maas.

For Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, the men will tackle the Mur de Huy three times like most previous editions, with the close succession of short and steep climbs coming after 120km of racing. Sunday’s prestigious cycling Monument, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will see the peloton tackle 254km before the main testing climbs come after 165km of racing.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco line-up:
Alexandre Balmer (SUI)
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Jan Maas (NED)
Jesus David Peña (COL)*
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Michael Matthews:
“I have been feeling good, the legs are good and I had two seventh place finishes in the last two races here, so I am feeling ready and motivated for these final two Ardennes Classics.

Flèche is always a hard race, and the Mur de Huy never gets any easier. I have been fifth here before so it gives me confidence that if I am in the right place, I can have a good result. Then for Liège, it is Liège, it is one of the cycling Monuments and a race I really would love to win. 

I have finished fourth in the race before, but I really want to try to get on the podium this year. It is a race that suits me, I expect it to be really aggressive racing like we’ve seen in all these races recently, but we’ve got a good mixed team for many situations that may unfold.”
Mathew Hayman – Sport Director:
“It is a hard iconic finish for cycling up the Mur de Huy, Michael has had some solid results up there, it is a climb that suits not only the punchy classics riders but also the pure climbers and we often see the light guys come in, so it is a bit of a cross over race of the classics.
We will be going all in with Michael, he has shown week in, week out, that he has got good form and he has had numerous top ten’s in these classics and we will continue to try and put him into a good position.
Liege is a longer race, there’s more chance for different race scenarios to happen. Flèche in recent years has always been a big bunch come to the bottom of the climb and essentially has been a race up the climb whereas in Liège, there is a lot more involved with getting to the final. Again we are looking to support Michael into the final, and we are hoping some of our other guys can step up to the mark and once we get around the Cote de La Rouche-Aux-Faucon, it is pretty much full on to the finish line.”

2022 Race Details:
Wednesday, 20th April: Flèche Wallonne – Blegny to Huy, 202.1km
Sunday, 24th April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège – Liège to Liège, 245.7km
Photo: Chris Auld

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com