2014 Rider Reviews - WomenSun 19 Oct 2014
Sport director Gene Bates has talked us through the season's of each of our female riders for 2014. Released daily across the first part of the off season. Take a look.
Summary: Emma’s strongest season yet, with wins in Cittiglio World Cup, BeNe tour (overall), and Holland Ladies Tour. She capped off the season ranked 2nd in the world. She started strong in the classics, and finished even stronger!
Personal highlight: Cittiligio World Cup win, Holland Ladies Tour last stage win
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Her dedication to the team is a contribution all year long, Emma is always there to give advice, be a good listener or have a laugh with.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: The ultimate professional cyclist – always looking for that extra edge on her competitors, she is fiercely loyal to her team and her teammates. Speaks about 30 languages.
2015: Should be her best season yet, will have great support, and look to be better than 2014. Challenge will be to see which races she targets to win.
Summary: Great results on the track, and really let both compliment each other this year. Had a BIG season, with world track champs, Commonwealth Games, and world team time trial championships – but was able to manage all of them well. Melissa took a big step this year and was consistently a great contributor to the team when she was racing with us.
Personal highlight: Silver medal World TTT Champs, 3rd place at the Ronde van Gelderland.
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Melissa’s ride at the last stage of the Holland Ladies Tour was one of the best we have seen. She was critical in the support of Emma (who went on to win the stage), over a course that on paper shouldn’t have suited her. She kept putting herself right in the pointy end of a race that kept exploding on climbs.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: Nearly to the stage of ‘ultimate professional’! She is always there to give a hand or advice to her teammates, and share a laugh. 1st to dinner – every time
2015: Will be similar with both track and road commitments. We should see a much more confident and capable rider in the second part of the classics, and a very reliable team racer again. Don’t be surprised to see her winning hilly classics soon.
Summary: Katrin raced initially with the Australian Development Team in 2014, but after several strong performances, Orica-AIS signed her to race from June onwards. In her first race, Giro di Trentino, Katrin played a key role and was impressive from the get-go.
Personal highlight: 3rd at Crono Champenois Time Trial one week before the world championships
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Being involved in the teams lead-out train at the Women’s Giro d’Italia this year was great to see. For someone with little experience, she embraced the challenge and helped her teammates immensely.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: A focused athlete who is willing to learn and do whatever it takes to be the best. She is Australian if anyone asks – Germany is long gone!
2015: Will look to capitalise on her first ‘professional’ year, and deliver in key events such as the women’s Giro d’Italia and time trials.
Summary: A strong start to the season, winning the Australian Championships in January, capped off also by a very strong ride at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland for Australia.
Personal highlight: Winning the Australian Championships for the second consecutive year.
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Having to change our tactics and put Gracie into a very important role at Tour of Fanders when Spratty crashed out mid-race, Gracie didn’t blink an eye – and just got straight on with the job.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: The quiet achiever, and always there for her team mates.
2015: Looking to be stronger than ever, with a real focus on the early season classics that suit her well.
Summary: A slow start to 2014, but we just saw Valentina go from strength to strength. With a win at her home race of Giro di Trentino, and very strong performances from May – September, Valentina was a great performer for the team this year.
Personal highlight: 2nd at the Italian Championships, 1st at Giro di Trentino, silver at the team time trial world Championships
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Valentina had many ‘moments’ of shine this year, and was in the right place at the right time when help was needed on many occasions.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: Affectionately known as the ‘crazy Italian’ within the team, she is always up for a joke and a laugh with her teammates. Just don’t mention Italian food outside of Italy!
2015: After a great 2014 season, and learning from some of the best in the world, Valentina will look to take advantage of this in 2015. Look out for Valentina in the hilly one day classics, and anytime there’s an opportunity to break away.
Summary: Loes again was strong from the start of the season, getting a nice win early in Australia in January at the Santos Women’s Cup. Unfortunately her season was cut short after a nasty fall during the BeNe tour in July while defending the lead of Emma Johansson.
Personal highlight: Winning in Adelaide for Loes was a great start to the season
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Loes is another who is always ‘contributing’, both on and off the bike. Loes is our leader on the road and is able to read situations very well when things get tricky. She is the voice of wisdom whenever we meet as a team.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: Although she is officially ‘Dutch’, she speaks better Aussie than anyone on the team! A great person to have around; a motivator and a leader.
2015: After a long and strong build up since her broken arm/shoulder, Loes will look to give a huge amount of firepower in the early season, starting in Australia in January.
Summary: Great start to 2014, but unfortunately her season was interrupted by a broken shoulder at the Tour of Flanders. She bounced back strongly however with a great ride as an important team member at the world TTT championships.
Personal highlight: Silver medal in TTT worlds championships.
Contribution that may have gone unnoticed: Always a team player, always willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team on race day.
One word/phrase to describe the rider’s personality: One tough cookie! Small package but a big heart and engine.
2015: After some disappointments in 2014, Spratty is looking to start strong in January, and really focus on the one day world cups in 2015.