When Orica-GreenEDGE set about defending Simon Gerrans’ yellow jersey during the early parts of last year’s Tour de France, there were a few quips in the peloton from those believing it was about time the Australian team were made to do some work. All done in humour, of course, but there is no smoke without fire as they say. Whatever their opposition may have felt about the workload Orica-GreenEDGE did in the bunch last year however, they can certainly not be criticised for their efforts so far in their home country.
Luke Durbridge in particular has been a near-constant presence at the front of the peloton, first yesterday to help set up victory for Gerrans as he pulled some huge shifts alongside Team Sky’s Bernie Eisel and then again today to defend the lead. Will Clarke (Drapac) knows what it takes to make a break succeed into Stirling having done exactly that when he soloed to victory in 2012. There was never any danger of a repeat this year however thanks to the Aussie team’s efforts and another day for Gerrans in the ochre jersey is their just reward.