Ambitious ORICA-AIS ready for tough Thuringen tussleWed 15 Jul 2015
Straight off the back of the Giro Rosa, the only women’s Grand Tour, ORICA-AIS return to racing for one of the toughest road races of the year, the Internationale Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen this Friday.
The return of two-time winner Emma Johansson, 2015 Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik winner Gracie Elvin and world track champion Melissa Hoskins will boost the Australian outfit with some experience as it goes into the race with some hefty ambitions.
Sport director Martin Barras gives us an insight into a big race for the team:
At first sight, the Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen (seven road stages and one time trial from July 17th to 23rd) is a highly predictable race. It is renowned as possibly the hardest stage race of the season, owing to its relentless undulating terrain and quality field. The honour roll is breathtaking.
We go there with ambitions! Emma Johansson has won twice here and been on the podium once as well. She will lead our team yet again but we are taking Amanda Spratt, Gracie Elvin, Sarah Roy, Chloe McConville and Melissa Hoskins with high individual ambitions for every one of them. So we are taking this race very seriously.
Besides the traditional mixture of hard rolling terrain and general classification defining time trial, this year’s edition see the repeat of last year’s brilliant mountain stage around the beautiful forested areas surrounding Schleiz. This will easily be the queen stage and coming on the penultimate day will define the final general classification of the event.
Velocio SRAM is coming all guns blazing, with local favourite and current time trial champion of the world, Lisa Brennauer, leading a very strong team and Bigla Cycling will field Ashley Moolman, who is coming off a very strong performance in the Giro Rosa.
So we are very much looking forward to seven days of hard fought and exciting racing.
This year will also mark the tenth anniversary of the accident that decimated the Australian women’s cycling community and took Amy Gillett’s life. As an Australian team, we will be marking the occasion both privately and in public and are very keen to honour Amy’s memory as well as promoting how such a tragedy has been the catalyst for changes for the better in our sport.
I invite you to follow our adventures in Germany.
ORICA-AIS at Internationale Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen (17-23 July):