Mitchelton-SCOTT looking to recover in time for a strong showing at La CourseMon 16 Jul 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women return to La Courseby Le Tour de France on Tuesday full of form and confidence from success at the Giro Rosa, but with only one day between events, looking to recover enough to tackle the mountainous route.
The fifth edition of the race will cover 118kilometres close to Lake Annecy and take on the iconic Col de la Colombiere before a dramatic descent to the finish in La Grand Bornand.
Winner of last year’s two-day event and current Giro Rosa champion Annemiek van Vleuten will lead the squad alongside in form Australian teammate Amanda Spratt and support coming from compatriots Jessica Allen, Jenelle Crooks and Women’s Tour stage winner Sarah Roy.
Jessica Allen (AUS, 25)
Jenelle Crooks (AUS, 24)
Sarah Roy (AUS, 32)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 30)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 35)
A double victory in 2017 for Van Vleuten in the road race up the fearsome Col d’Izoard and the time trial in Marseille was backed up by a strong showing by Spratt in sixth and fifth place in the respective events and gave the team their best ever results in the event.
The race has changed format in each edition and 2018 is no different, returning to a one-day program and following part of the route of the men in the Tour de France two climbs provide the key points of the race with the Cole de Romme up first and the 16kilometre Colombiere the centre piece coming before the finish.
Annemiek van Vleuten:
“This year’s La Course will be quite strange coming so soon after the Giro Rosa, there will be some riders who didn’t race at the Giro and will come in fresh and then those of us coming in tired straight from the Giro after ten days of hard racing.”
“I think that we will see different performances than what we might normally expect because of this. There’s only one day in between, but I still feel good and I feel strong on the climbs and it will be great to race up an iconic climb like the Col de la Colombiere and compete over a longer parcours.
“It was so cool to win last year on top of the Col d’Izoard and with Amanda and myself in good form we are going into the race with confidence, but also into the unknown because we will have the Giro in our legs."
“I expect it will be a very selective race- we have two major climbs with a descent in between and then also a descent to the finish. It is definitely a parcours for the climbers so expect fireworks on the ascents. It’s great that this year we have a longer race as well.”
“Ordinarily I would say this is definitely a course that suits my strengths and one that I can go well on. However, the timing of La Course this year means we only have one day between the finish of the Giro and the race with a big travel day between.
“Because of this I am not putting a lot of pressure on myself for La course- it’s a bit of an unknown as to how the legs will respond. Also considering fresh riders such as Anna Van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans who will be there and who didn’t race the Giro.
“Even so this is such a big race for us with so many fans and exposure, so I still can’t wait to be out there racing and give everything that I have for a good performance.”
La Course by Le Tour de France, Tuesday 17thJuly 2018.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.