A double-day at the Tour de Feminin sees ORICA-AIS claim two podium finishesSat 9 Jul 2016
The penultimate day of the Tour de Feminin was split into two stages, with Tayler Wiles producing a strong performance in the morning's individual time trial to finish in second place, followed by yesterday's stage winner Loren Rowney sprinting into second place in the road stage.
Wiles stopped the clock just six seconds behind the time trial stage winner, Natalia Boyarskay (Russian National Team), which catapulted her up into second place overall with just one stage remaining.
In the afternoon Rowney, searching for her second victory of the tour, contested the sprint but yesterday's second place finisher Jolien D'hoore got the better of the Australian in the final metres.
Despite being close to the victory on both stages today and having to settle for second place, sport director Gene Bates was very happy with the team's performances and is pleased with where ORICA-AIS sit heading into a hilly final stage tomorrow.
"Tayler had a great ride this morning," said Bates. "It was a really strong time trial for her and it was a very difficult one with two decent climbs and also fast descents in there."
"Alexandra Manly also had a very good ride, finishing just outside the top ten but for her first real time trial in Europe she performed really well."
After Wiles' rapid time tria moved her closer to the overall victory, the team worked well together during the afternoon's road stage to help her take valuable bonus seconds.
"In the afternoon we really targeted the intermediate sprints," continued Bates. "Tayler was able to win the first one to take three seconds back on the lead, which is important going into tomorrow's stage. It's quite a hard and hilly day, it should really suit her."
"The stage came down to a bunch sprint, so in the final the girls were working again for Loren, unfortunately Manly crashed around three kilometres to go, thankfully she is ok yet she was a crucial part of the lead-out.
"As a consequence to that, Loren had to hit out with around 500metres to go and it was just too far in the end.
"With two intermediate sprints up for grabs tomorrow and also the time bonus on the finish line, the overall victory is very doable. It's a hard stage and the girls won't leave anything in the tank, they'll be trying everything they can to take the win."
How it happened:
After a successful day yesterday, ORICA-AIS began the penultimate day of the Tour de Feminin motivated and confident, aiming for more results.
The day was split into two stages with a individual time trial of 14.6kilometres in the morning, followed by a road stage, made up of laps to make the short distance of 71kilometres, in the afternoon.
American rider Wiles, known for her time trailing abilities, picked out the stage as one to target and was able to produce a solid ride for second place.
As the riders stopped the clock one-by-one the fastest time continued to be beaten. Wiles, one of the latter starters, finished in a time of 22minutes and 32seconds, just six seconds shy of the winner Boyarskay.
Stage 4, 71kilometre road stage
After moving up to second place on the general classification, the road race was an important stage for the team to gain extra bonus seconds.
At just 71kilometres long the team predicted it would come down to another bunch sprint and put all confidence and commitment into Rowney after her impressive turn of speed in yesterday's stage.
ORICA-AIS lined themselves up to help give Wiles three bonus seconds in the first intermediate sprint, with Rowney also taking one second before their focused turned to the final sprint.
Unfortunately Manly crashed with just three kilometres to go, greatly effecting their lead-out train and leaving Rowney to fight for herself with 500metres remaining. D'Hoore came past to take the race honours, with Rowney claiming second place.
Tomorrow the team head into the final stage, very much in contention to steal the overall victory.
Tour de Feminin stage 3 results ITT:
1. Natalia Boyarskay (Russian National Team) 22:26:06
2. Tayler Wiles (ORICA-AIS) +0:06
3. Anna Plichta (MX2 BTC City) +0:20
Stage 4 results RR:
1. Jolien D'Hoore (Belgium National Team) 1:55:09
2. Loren Rowney (ORICA-AIS) +0:01
3. Peta Mullens (Roxsolt) +0:03
General classification results after stage 4:
1. Cecile Ludwig (BMS Birn) 8:07:12
2. Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian NAtional Team) +0:07
3. Tayler Wiles (ORICA-AIS) +0:12
Photos courtesy of Dariusz Krzywanski / Anton Vos.