Roy opens up Route de France with a solid second place in the prologue

Sun 7 Aug 2016

Australian sprinter Sarah Roy displayed great power and speed to claim second place for ORICA-AIS in this evening’s opening prologue in Route de France.

The 30-year-old finished incredibly close to the victory stopping the clock in a time of four minutes and 26seconds, just 10 seconds behind the eventual winner over the 3.2kilometre route.

It was last year’s Route de France prologue winner and the final rider to set off down the ramp, Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5) who finished with the time marginally faster than Roy’s to steal the victory in the closing moments.

Sport director Gene Bates was thrilled with the result putting the team in a good position ahead of the coming seven stages.

“It was a short prologue and quite technical in the end,” said Bates. “Sarah has been targeting this event for a couple of weeks, she really wanted to have a good prologue and the course suited her really well - a short, sharp effort.”

“She put together a really great ride, looking at her ride from the car behind we couldn’t really fault anything. Maybe a couple of small errors but she had a very good ride overall and I think she will be super happy with second place.”

With American time trial specialist Tayler Wiles the team’s main hope for the general classification, Bates was happy Wiles was able to get through the technical race against the clock safetly and without losing much time.

"With Tayler we really just wanted to make sure she didn’t lose too much time,” continued Bates. “She didn’t take any mega risks in the corners, she just put down a solid ride.”

“She hasn’t lost much time going into the next stages which is perfect to start the tour for her. We will now look after her for the couple of flatter stages to come.

“You can’t hide out there in a prologue so Sarah’s ride tonight is a good sign for the next three days. We came into this race with high ambitions and we’ve started it off really well. I think all the girls will be happy going into the first road stage tomorrow.”

How it happened:

The eight-day French race opened up with a lung-busting 3.2kilometre flat prologue with ORICA-AIS rider Wiles, the first to take to the start ramp for the Australian outfit.

Known for her time triailing abilities, Wiles set a high standard early on with a solid time. As each of the riders began it was Dani King (Wiggle-High5), who set a fastest time of four minutes and 30second and held onto the top spot for a lengthy period.

As riders completed the distance it appeared no one could quite knock King off the top spot. It came down to the final few riders before the time of four minutes 30second was finally broken by a French rider.

Roy, the fifth and final rider to start from the ORICA-AIS team and one of the latter riders of the day, showed her powerful riding style, blasting around the course to stop the clock a few seconds faster than the current fastest time with four minutes 26seconds. 

With just one rider left to start Roy remained in the hot seat however the final rider, Pieters, was the only rider able to spoil the party for ORICA-AIS stealing the victory from Roy by ten seconds. 

Tomorrow the road racing begins with a 134kilometre stage from Sant Quentin to Pontoise.

Route de France prologue results:

1. Amy Pieters (WIggle-High5) 4:18
2. Sarah Roy (ORICA-AIS) +0:10
3. Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) +0:10

General classification after the prologue:

1. Amy Pieters (WIggle-High5) 4:18
2. Sarah Roy (ORICA-AIS) +0:10
3. Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) +0:10