Depleted but determined line-up for Mitchelton-SCOTT at Women’s Jayco Herald Sun TourTue 4 Feb 2020
Defending champion Lucy Kennedy will lead a small but determined Mitchelton-SCOTT team at the two-day women’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts tomorrow.
Kennedy will be supported by Gracie Elvin, Jessica Roberts and late addition Sarah Roy, with the main general classification stage on Thursday, finishing up Falls Creek.
Caught up in the mass crash at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on the weekend, Georgia Williams, Grace Brown and Jessica Allen have all been left out of the race as they continue their recovery. Mitchelton-SCOTT will start just four riders, the minimum required to take to the start line.
The two stages are complete contrasts, with the opening stage in Shepparton set for a sprint if the wind doesn’t play havoc, because a hors-category mountain-top finish on day two.
The 2020 race will be the third edition of the women’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Mitchelton-SCOTT has won a stage at each of the two previous editions, with Kennedy taking the outfit’s first title in 2019.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling. It will be the first UCI race that I am returning as the defending champion, so that is going to be a new experience.
“The format of the JHST has been similar the last few years - there’s been the two stages but they are always two completely different stages where the GC has always been decided one of the two days.
“We’re starting with the sprint stage so for me it’s about staying safe and conserving energy. Then the second stage is really interesting. We start with a 30km descent, basically go down the hill, do a loop and then back up the climb. It’s a pretty unusual stage. I‘ve ridden the climb, it’s not a super hard climb but it’s obviously really long and there’s going to be huge time gaps.”
Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas – Sport Director:
“It’s been a hectic few days checking out and following up on our injured riders and finally, together with the team doctor, we have decided to be cautious of their health so we have three withdrawals after Cadel Road Race.
“We needed four riders to be able to start the race and we are aiming to win the general classification with Lucy, so we need as many numbers as possible because you never know what can happen in the race.
“We have the first sprint stage, and we just need to protect Lucy and then the Falls Creek stage in the stage of the GC and it’s a good stage for Lucy so we’re looking forward to that.
“Falls is a long climb, but not super steep. Even if it’s not that hard, it’s still a draining climb. It will depend on what other teams are doing, but I think the differences will be made towards the top.”
2020 Women’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage Details:
Wednesday, 5 February: Stage 1 – Shepparton to Shepparton, 94km
Thursday, 6 February: Stage 2 – Falls Creek to Falls Creek, 75.2km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.