Dutch racing continues for ORICA-AIS with Drentse Acht Van WesterveldThu 10 Mar 2016
Following on from the WorldTour race taking place the Saturday, Drentse Acht Van Westerveld provides an additional opportunity for ORICA-AIS over the weekend.
The 140km race on Sunday follows a similar course to Ronde Van Drenthe, including two sections of rough cobbles and two ascent of the VAMberg.
National and Oceania time trial champion Katrin Garfoot and 28-year-old Chloe McConville join the team in their first race on European soil for 2016.
"Katrin and Chloe have just arrived this week from Australia," explained sport director Gene Bates. "This will be their first event on Sunday getting them back in to racing and they are really happy to be back with the team. They are looking forward to getting their European campaign underway."
Also kicking off her European season over the weekend, competing in both races is 27-year-old Loren Rowney, hoping for more sucess this time round. During last year's edition of the race Rowney was dramatically taken down by a spectator in the closing meters, subsequently breaking her collarbone.
"There is so much unfinished business for me coming into this event," Rowney said. "My last two expiriences haven't been so luckly, so I'm being positive and I’m hoping it's going to be third time lucky.
"I’m just really excited to get out there with my team and peers again and get amongst the crazy European racing that I love so much."
Joining the three fresh Australians will be former dutch champion Annemiek Van Vleuten, former Australian champion Gracie Elvin and former Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy, all three will compete in both Saturday and Sunday's races boosting the team line up.
Having clocked up numerous wins during the Australian summer season and the Ladies Tour of Qatar, the squad has adapted well coming into the harsh European winter weather. With three top the results in the first three races it has been a promising start, however the highly ambitions team are looking to achieve a bigger result during the busy weekend of racing.
Bates sees the second race of the weekend as a chance for the team to maximise their opportunities racing both days.
"The approach will be quite similar in terms of racing styles on Saturday and Sunday," continued Bates. "Sunday we will probably have a little bit more freedom to give everyone in the team their own opportunity to go for a result."
Drentse Acht Van Westerveld starts at 1.30pm on Sunday and follows a 140km route.
ORICA-AIS in Drentse Van Acht Westerveld (13th March):
Gracie Elvin (AUS, ACT, 27)
Katrin Garfoot (AUS, QLD, 34)
Chloe McConville (AUS, VIC, 28)
Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 27)
Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 29)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 33)