ORICA-SCOTT women hope to play the right cards at Omloop van het HagelandThu 23 Feb 2017
ORICA-SCOTT women round off a busy weekend of European classics racing at Omloop van het Hageland this Sunday looking to continue their successful start to the season.
A fantastic Australian summer saw the team claim domestic race victories along with individual national titles to lay the foundation for a strong opening to 2017.
Sundays race completes the opening weekend for European racing coming hot on the heels of the historic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sport director Gene Bates explained how tiredness from the previous day can have an effect.
“Typically everyone is quite tired still from Saturday,” said Bates. “That can lead to a bit more of a negative race, matched with an easier course it will more than likely come down to a small bunch finish.”
“I think we have a few fast girls in the team for Sunday and the race will be a little more open. It will be a matter of playing our cards right early and setting ourselves up for a good final.”
Last years race saw the team race aggressively, animating numerous breakaways with Australian Gracie Elvin attacking in the final third before the race came back together. Annemiek van Vleuten and Sarah Roy placed sixth and seventh from the ensuing bunch sprint and all three riders return on Sunday.
“Last year we came very close,” concluded Bates. “Sarah and Annemiek were both there in the final and it would be great to be able to finish it off stronger this year.”
Completing the versatile six rider squad is new signing Georgia Williams, making her first appearance for ORICA-SCOTT and joined by 2017 Santos Tour Down Under winner Amanda Spratt and Jenelle Crooks.
2017 marks the ninth edition of the race and covers 126kilometres starting and finishing in the municipality of Tielt-Winge, part of the province of Flemish Brabant.