Simon Gerrans to return to action at Strade Bianche

Australian makes return from off-season injury at the Italian one-day race on Saturday alongside Britain's Adam Yates

Photo: Graham Watson
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge) will line-up in his first race since the 2014 Road World Championships on Saturday, at the Italian one-day race Strade Bianche.

Gerrans fell while mountain biking in the off-season and broke his left collarbone, leaving him unable to defend his road race title in the Australian National Championships as well as missing out on the Tour Down Under.

The 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner will now begin his season on the white roads of Tuscany before taking on his first stage race at the Volta a Catalunya later in the month, as he targets another successful campaign at the Ardennes Classics.

While the parcours at Strade Bianche suit the punchy style of Gerrans, Orica directeur sportif Neil Stephens remains wary of expecting too much from his leading rider too soon.

"Gerro is working harder than anybody to try and get back in shape again but its still early days for him,” Stephens told the team's website.

“He has taken the injury and turned it into a positive, working really hard in the gym to build his strength. He is in good shape, he is really keen to go but it’s a little too early to expect a result from him just yet.”

Britain's Adam Yates will also lineup in Italy this weekend making his third appearance of the season, ahead of riding at Tirreno-Adriatico shortly after.

The 22-year-old is now in his second season with the Australian team, having impressed in his debut year with an overall win at the Tour of Turkey and completing his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España.

Orica-Greenedge squad for 2015 Strade Bianche:

Esteban Chaves

Magnus Cort

Luke Durbridge

Simon Gerrans

Mathew Hayman

Michael Hepburn

Svein Tuft

Adam Yates

Richard Windsor

Richard began working with Cycling Weekly in 2013 alongside the then web editor, Nigel Wynn. Taking over as digital editor or Cycling Weekly and mbr in 2014, Richard coordinates site content and strategy with the team.