Final re-signings confirm 2016 ORICA-AIS squadThu 10 Dec 2015
ORICA-AIS has re-signed Geelong’s Chloe McConville and young track riders Macey Stewart and Alexandra Manly to confirm a 12-women squad for the 2016 season.
McConville has recovered from illness and fought hard in her return to fitness to cement her position in the squad, whilst Stewart and Manly will again juggle track and road programs, joining their ORICA-AIS teammates later in the season.
The outfit completed its first 2016 camp last month and sent a small team to race in Launceston last weekend.
Sport director Gene Bates said the early signs are promising for a great season.
“We are really happy with the position we are in heading into Christmas,” Bates said. “Our camp was extremely successful and to come away with a win and two additional podiums with a small team in Launceston has the team approaching the 2016 season with confidence.”
“I think our aggressive racing ability will certainly continue to shine through. We have got a great group of ambitious riders this season, and riders we are confident can deliver us fire power in the finals of races.
“We have a very determined group, a little older in terms of the average age but still very young in terms of time in the pro peloton.”
With an average age of 27.9, the 2016 ORICA-AIS squad features nine re-signings, three omissions and three new signings in Loren Rowney, Annemiek van Vleuten and Tayler Wiles.
Bates said the team dynamic is already working well and is looking forward to seeing what the team can deliver next year.
“We have done a lot of homework and background work on the three new riders that will join the team and from what I’ve seen so far, they are going to be great additions to our team,” Bates said.
“We will be targeting one-day races and the shorter Tours.
“We have a huge amount of talent in the time trial and prologues which is going to set us up well for those smaller Tours and certainly a lot of fire power across the one-day races, both the cobbled classics and the more selective races.”
General manager Shayne Bannan is among those looking forward to a big year in women’s cycling.
“We are very excited about the prospects of our women’s team and management has certainly lined up a solid group of riders for next year,” Bannan said. “With the introduction of the women’s WorldTour and a full international schedule, we’re all looking forward to seeing the team being part of all the action.”
“I think there is a really good balance between some very experienced riders and some of the best new talent in the sport. We have a lot to look forward to in 2016 with ORICA-AIS.
“We are obviously very thankful for the collaboration with the AIS and Cycling Australia High Performance Unit. I would also like to use this opportunity to thank them for this great partnership.”
2016 ORICA-AIS Squad:
Gracie Elvin (AUS, ACT, 27) - profile
Katrin Garfoot (AUS, QLD, 34) - profile
Alexandra Manly (AUS, WA, 19) - profile
Chloe McConville (AUS, VIC, 28) - profile
Rachel Neylan (AUS, NSW, 33) - profile
Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 27) - signing
Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 29) - profile
Amanda Spratt (AUS, NSW, 28) - profile
Macey Stewart (AUS, TAS, 19) - profile
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 33) - signing
Tayler Wiles (USA, 26) - signing
Lizzie Williams (AUS, VIC, 32) - profile
2016 ORICA-AIS Squad Stats:
No. of riders: 12
No. of Australians: 10
No. of internationals: 2 (1 NED, 1 USA)
Youngest rider: Alexandra Manly (19)
Oldest rider: Katrin Garfoot (34)
Average age: 27.9
2016 Australian Summer of Cycling Program:
Fri, 1 to Mon, 4 Jan: Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic?
Wed, 6 to Sun, 10 Jan: Cycling Australia National Championships?
Sat, 16 to Tue, 19 Jan: Santos Tour Down Under?
Sat, 30 Jan: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race