News

Mitchelton-SCOTT women return to Ballarat for national championships

Mon 1 Jan 2018

Following hot off the back of the men's Cycling Australia National Championships preview, we also have the latest offerings from our women's riders and directors.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT women's team took a clean sweep in 2017, claiming the titles in the criterium, time trial and road race. Are they up for the task again?

Wednesday, 3 January – Criteriums

Women:

  • Jessica Allen
  • Janelle Crooks
  • Gracie Elvin
  • Sarah Roy
  • Amanda Spratt

Strength in numbers is the name of the game for Mitchelton-SCOTT women in the criterium championship on Wednesday night. Whilst they have the pure speed of Sarah Roy, the real power comes in the level of threat all five starters pose for their rivals. It’s a game of cards and Mitchelton-SCOTT aren’t afraid to play them.

Jessica Allen:

“I’m really excited to be racing the national criterium on Wednesday as the defending champion. There are a lot of strong riders who can win, but I also think any of my teammates can win it too. I am motivated to defend the titles and keep the jersey in the team, whether it’s on my shoulders or one of my teammates.”

Gene Bates – Sport Director:

“It’s no surprise we have one of the strongest teams in the race and we definitely have multiple riders who the win the race in different scenarios. The level of the field in getting higher and we need to be wary of like Holden Racing and Specialized so we have to race aggressively and tactically smart if we want to win."

 

Friday, 5 January – Time Trials

Women:

  • Alex Manly
  • Lucy Kennedy

With world championship bronze medallist Katrin Garfoot no longer in the team colours, the time trial championship will be tough to defend. Alex Manly and new signing Lucy Kennedy will race for valuable experience with the under-23 title a big aim for Manly. 

Alex Manly:

“I’m looking forward to having another go in the individual time trial. It will be a good guide to see where I am at and an opportunity to practice my position and pacing and I don’t get the chance to race many time trials throughout the year. Having the under-23 category gives me some more motivation to have a good ride.”

Gene Bates – Sport Director:

“Alex has had a different preparation this year, focussing on the track with Commonwealth Games coming up, so there is no great pressure on her for this race but we are keen for her to focus on the discipline in the future.

“Similarly, Lucy has shown time trial ability in the past and we think she can do well in the future so it’s a good opportunity to race a high-level time trial because there aren’t many on the program now.”

 

Sunday, 7 January – Road Races

Women:

  • Jessica Allen
  • Janelle Crooks
  • Gracie Elvin
  • Lucy Kennedy
  • Alex Manly
  • Sarah Roy
  • Amanda Spratt

Having won five of the past six national road titles, Mitchelton-SCOTT women will be on the hunt for another opportunity to take the green and gold jersey back to Europe.

The team isn’t expecting too much change from the new course but will have some tough new challengers, in the for of former teammates, in 2018. 

Amanda Spratt:

“January is always a special time to be racing in Australia and I’m always really motivated for this block. I’m going into the races pretty relaxed but knowing I have done the hard work and the shape is good so I just can’t wait to get racing. A lot of girls are trying to making the Commonwealth Games team so the nationals will be important for anyone with that goal. I anticipate a very hard race but I think we have a really strong team ready to do everything we can to get that jersey again.

“I’m happy with the changes made to the course. Whilst it’s not a huge difference, I think the short technical part through the university and the drag up the main road with make the overall course slightly harder. I love racing around Buninyong and I’m definitely happy we still have the climb.”

Gene Bates – Sports Director:

“I don’t think the course will make too much of a difference, we have one less lap which means the action will start a little earlier and the shorter distance than our overseas also plays a part in that.

“We have good riders in good shape who are used to racing as a team and that will be our advantage against other strong riders in Shara Gillow, Katrin Garfoot and Rachel Neylan for example. We don’t have a one rider plan, everyone will have an opportunity.”

Comments