Boxes ticked for ORICA-AIS on stage three of Aviva Womenâ€™s TourFri 19 Jun 2015
ORICA-AIS has completed a successful day on the road, factoring in bonus seconds, the day’s breakaway and maintaining the mountain’s classification on the third stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour.
Coming into the middle day of racing, the Australian outfit made a conscious decision to step up their influence on the Tour.
The first objective was to contest for bonus seconds on the first intermediate sprint, just 19km into the stage. Job done by Swedish champion Emma Johansson who swept up maximum seconds to move into fourth overall heading into the penultimate stage tomorrow.
Then, to take the pressure off the remainder of the stage, including a second intermediate sprint opportunity and the two classified climbs, ORICA-AIS wanted to force a breakaway.
Australian Chloe McConville stood up for the job, moving off the front after 73km of racing. The 27-year-old was joined by Heather Fischer (Team USA) and later by Sharon Law (Bigla Pro Cycling).
The trio established a maximum lead of three minutes 40seconds before the peloton responded. They were eventually caught, but not until three kilometres to go. Another job done.
“It was a tough day out there,” McConville said. “We had a plan to get someone up the road and that was my duty today.”
“I decided when to attack and luckily a Team USA girl came across and we got another massive boost when Sharon Laws came across too. The three of us worked really well together.”
To cap off a successful stage, track world champion Melissa Hoskins picked up further points on the mountain’s classification to maintain her lead in the polka dot jersey.
“It was a very good day for the team,” sport director Martin Barras said. “You always want to come into a Tour with a plan for the whole week, rather then just the individual stages and it became clear yesterday that it was time to take a bit more charge.”
“In particular, our general classification situation dictated that we needed to get involved in the intermediate sprint and that worked really well.
“We were keen for Emma not to have to sprint both times, so we wanted a breakaway to swallow the seconds from the intermediate sprint and that again worked really well.
“And then the third objective was to see if we could manage the queen of the mountain jersey and that has been done too so we ticked a lot of boxes today.”
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage four travels 103.8km from Waltham Cross to Stevenage.