Top Ten for Melissa Hoskins in Elsy Jacobs PrologueFri 2 May 2014
Melissa Hoskins proved quickest against the clock for ORICA-AIS on the opening prologue at the Elsy Jacobs stage race in Luxembourg. The Western Australian covered the 2.5 kilometre course in 3’17, averaging 47.33 kilometres per hour. The effort was good for eighth place, 5” behind prologue winner and defending champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv).
“Generally speaking, a prologue is an extremely short time trial that is held on the first day of stage race to create some time gaps going into stage one,” explained Bates. “Essentially, a prologue assures aggressive racing in the first road stage because there will be riders that need to get time back. For a race organiser, this is a good thing as it guarantees an exciting race.”
“We prepared as much as possible for the event this evening,” Bates continued. “We did a good recon of the course. We rode it several times on the time trial bikes. We knew all the dangerous bits and technical parts. This allowed the girls to do the best possible ride they could put together. I think they all achieved that today. Nobody crossed the line saying they should have done something differently.“
Bates anticipated his two endurance track racers would have the best chance at posting a top result. Both race the four kilometre team time trial at the World Championship and Olympic level, and each has raced the individual pursuit in various track events. The effort required for a prologue is more aligned to the power output required in the velodrome than on the road.
“We have two really good individual prologue riders on the team in Mel Hoskins and Nettie Edmondson,” noted Bates. “It was always going to be exciting to let them have a crack at the prologue tonight. They finished in eighth place and 13th place respectively, which was a decent result.”
“Perhaps they both thought they could have done a little bit better,” Bates added. “When we started to pull apart their rides, it became clear that they had really good rides technically. I don’t know if they could have found too much else out there. I certainly couldn’t see how they could have gotten more out of their rides.”
Racing continues over the weekend with two lumpy road stages. Each stage opens with the same 54 kilometre loop. Each stage ends on a finishing circuit – two different circuits for the two distinct days of racing.
“Being only a three day event including the prologue, we’re going to treat each road race as two one day events,” explained Bates. “We want to get the best possible result out of each of those days. If this leads us into a good position overall, so be it. But really – we’re chasing stage victories for the next two days.”