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Teamwork gives ORICA-AIS a 1-2 in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Sat 30 Jan 2016

ORICA-AIS has taken the top two steps of the podium today in the second edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Australian Champion Amanda Spratt won the race ahead of the defending champion and team mate Rachel Neylan after executing text book tactics.

 “It was perfect from kilometer zero,” explained Spratt.  “We had Loren RowneyChloe McConville and Sarah Roy who did a lot of work to set myself, Rachel and Tayler Wiles up for the final.”

 “It was just a battle once we got to the climbs. We were constantly attacking and the peloton just kept whittling down, so we just kept the pressure and just kept sticking at it. I thought Rachel's move would stay away with Chloe Hosking, but then it came back so I countered over the top and managed to get away.

 “It was painful over all those climbs but when you’ve got a team like that you're always motivated for the finish.”

 Unlike last years race there was a lack of strong winds. So ORICA-AIS had to bide their time before animating the race.

“We had a plan to split it up in the wind and put the other teams on the back foot early," said sport director Gene Bates. "Unfortunately the wind wasn't quite right so the girls had to wait a little longer before they really started to put their work in.” 

Bates went on to commend the girls efforts riding as a team.

“We had a clear plan using the whole team to get the best ride out of the whole group and it certainly pulled off again today. They’re all in really good nick and it is just the fact that they're so trusting in each other that they’re able to ride so well.”

 Last year's winner and this year's second place finisher Neylan also applauded the whole team effort today. 

 “To be a part of a win which was full of such cohesive teamwork is special, so i'm just absolutely thrilled.” 

 How it happened:

The peloton rolled out of Geelong along the Waterfront to take on the 113km route, tackling the Great Ocean Road. 

Despite multiple attacks within the first 50km the riders weren't given much freedom, being quickly closed down by the efforts of ORICA-AIS, doing a lot of work to control the bunch until the climbs.

 Jessica Allen (High5 Dream Team) was able to gain an advantage over the peloton and establish the main move of the day. After taking out the Queen of the Mounatin, Allen was shortly joined by Taryn Heather (Bike Bug) as the pair rode out to a maximum advantage of one-minute 30seconds.

 Continuing their team role Roy and Rowney got back on the front and led the chase with the help of team Holden, and eventually swallowed up the two escapees with just 30km to go.

 The action heated up once more, as ORICA-AIS made it an aggressive race by attacking one after another, whittling the bunch down to 20 riders until defending champion Neylan got a gap. Having to do all the work out front with only 23km to go, the riders behind bridged back up the duo, allowing Spratt to launch off the front.

As the race hit the sharp 20% finish circuit climb, famous for it’s use on the 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships course, Spratt's gap hovered around 12seconds with only 9km to go. Spratt proved too strong though and managed to hold off the chase effort of Wiggle High5's Dani King to take the victory.

ORICA-AIS will be straight back in action at the Ladies Tour of Qatar starting on the 2nd of February.

 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Results:

1. Amanda Spratt (OGE)

2. Rachel Neylan (OGE) 49”

3. Dani King (WGL) 49”

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