Johansson on the hunt for World Cup points at Sparkassen GiroFri 1 Aug 2014
Swedish champion Emma Johansson will lead the ORICA-AIS outfit at the Sparkassen Giro this Sunday looking to gain vital points for the UCI Women’s Road World Cup series.
Johnasson, who currently sits 160 points behind World Cup leader Lizzie Armistead (DLT), will suit the 124km course in Germany which features eight laps of a 15.5km circuit. Armistead will miss this weekend’s event due to the Commonwealth Games.
The five ORICA-AIS riders for the Sparkassen Giro are: Amanda Spratt, Carlee Taylor, Emma Johansson, Jessie Maclean and Valentina Scandolara.
Sport director Gene Bates said the event was a good opportunity for Johansson and the team as they work into the second half of the season.
“We are at the turning point for the backend of the season now,” Bates said.
“The World Cup has really molded itself and there are probably four or five possible riders for the overall World Cup now.
“Emma Johansson is really in the mix for that after her win at Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy and some really good placings throughout the year at World Cup events.
“She will be looking this weekend to hopefully gain a victory in Sunday’s race.
“It’s a course that really suits her. It’s a circuit for the whole race with one short climb in it.”
ORICA-AIS will start the race with one less than the permitted six riders due to Commonwealth Games commitments and a shoulder injury to Loes Gunnewijk but the team plan to race with their trademark aggression.
“The circuit climb will do a bit of damage but won’t bust the field into a million pieces,” Bates said.
“We have brought a nice aggressive team to this race and carrying on our team tradition we will race aggressively and look to set up Emma with some numbers in the final group to help her out in the finish.
“I reckon there will probably be a small bunch sprint coming into the finish, a group of maybe 15-20 riders.
“We always try to play our cards as smart as we can with the riders we have got. We probably notice having one less rider later in the race when we would like to have a few more numbers in that front group to be able to play with.
“Having Loes out certainly is a slight disadvantage, but I’m confident in the riders we’ve got and they have all taken a big step up over the last month or so.“
ORICA-AIS at the Sparkassen Giro: