Friday, March 26th will kick off Team Type 1’s first international stage race of the season, the 23rd Tour of Morocco. The race, which totals ten days of racing, spread across ten stages – two of which are split stages – begins in the Moroccan capital of Rabat and concludes in Morocco’s largest city – Casablanca – on April 4th.
Team Type 1 brings six professional riders to the start line, including Mike Creed, Aldo Ino Ilesic, Chris Jones, Valeri Kobzarenko, Javier Megias Leal and Shawne Milne, under the watchful eye of team director Michael Carter. “I think that we’ve got the best team we could possibly have for this race,” said Carter of the squad he’s assembled for Morocco.
Over the course of ten stages, riders face a total of 1,510 kilometers of racing action. The riders’ longest days in the saddle come during stage nine and the two parts of stage six, when riders face 190-kilometer courses (stage six is made up of one 120-kilometer stage and one 70-kilometer stage).
For the most part, the race is a flat affair, however riders will face various fourth category climbs throughout the race before reaching any major climbs. Those climbs come on stage three, where riders must ascend a second and third category summit, and the seventh stage, where a third category climb stands in their way.
One rider hoping to sprout wings on the race’s major climbs is Leal, who came to the squad this year from the Pro-Tour team Footon-Servetto, who Carter describes as a “climber extraordinaire.” “Whenever you come from a Pro-Tour team, you definitely have a leg up on everyone else,” explains Carter.
Carter also points to Milne as a rider who could make waves in Morocco, saying “he’s not a pure climber like Javier is, but he’s very good on the power stuff.” Another weapon in Team Type 1’s arsenal is newcomer Mike Creed, who “has a ton of experience and is just a great all-arounder.”
Team Type 1’s mixture of tenacious breakaway artists and sprint specialists sets them up perfectly to challenge for multiple stage wins. While the climbs may be few and far between, there will be plenty of opportunities to spring winning moves throughout the race. As far as the team’s true leader goes, Carter is hesitant to name one specific rider. “Things will evolve. It will be the strongest rider; the guy who’s doing the best. It really could be any one of those guys to be honest. They’re all in really good condition and they all have their own attributes.”
Team Type 1 will have twelve chances to perfect their tactics and take home a victory on international soil for the first time this year. Carter is looking at the hilly stage seven as a highlight of the team’s tactics saying, “by then, we’ll know, who’s who, who’s strong, who’s been able to stay out of trouble and who’s had the best fortune.”
By the time racing concludes on April 4th, Team Type 1 hopes to be the team with the best fortune.