Dwars Door de Westhoek rounds up a busy week of racing for ORICA-AIS

Wed 20 Apr 2016

This Sunday ORICA-AIS leave Holland and cross the border to the neighbouring country Belgium, ready for Dwars Door de Westhoek, a UCI 1.1 category race. 

As the classics period draws to an end and heads into stage racing territory, Sunday's race offers the riders a final Belgium-style race.

The 127.3kilometre race features three ascents of the short sharp Rodenberg climb and a small section of cobbles during the final circuits across the finish line.

In previous editions, ORICA-AIS have finished in the top ten but never made it onto the podium in this particular event. The Australian outfit will head back the start line in Boezinge looking to achieve a deserving result, in what will be the seventh edition of race. 

Sport director Gene Bates said the race is a good opportunity for the team to round up what has been a solid start to the season.

"It's a busy week for the team," said Bates. "With the WorldTour race Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, then the two races in Borsele with a time trial on Friday followed by a hard road race on Saturday. Sunday's race is another good opportunity for the girls to have a good go and try to get everything right and come away with a result."

"All of the riders have shown good form with solid, consistent results so far throughout the spring racing. It's only a matter of time until it all comes together on the day and we achieve that victory. 

"We have a good chance this weekend in this type of race, and it would be really great to get a result, finishing off what has been a strong start to the season. The girl have shown so much commitment and motivation throughout all the racing." 

The ORICA-AIS team taking to the start line for Dwars door de Westhoek will be much the same as the previous day's race in Holland. Santos Women's Tour winner Katrin Garfoot will rejoin the team as Annemiek Van Vleuten steps down for the day. 

Australians Loren Rowney, Sarah Roy and Lizzie Williams, all with powerful sprints, will be hoping to work together and take their chances if it comes down to a bunch kick. 

Tayler Wiles will compete in all four races throughout the week, and young Australian Alexandra Manly will be looking to quickly find her feet in her first European weekend of racing for 2016.

ORICA-AIS  riders in Dwars Door de Westhoek (24th April):

Katrin Garfoot (AUS, QLD, 34) 
Alexandra Manly (AUS, WA, 19)
Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 27) 
Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 29) 
Tayler Wiles (USA, 26) 
Lizzie Williams (AUS, VIC, 32)