Mitchelton-SCOTT women ready for a hard ‘home’ race at Trofeo Alfredo BindaWed 14 Mar 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women are looking to make an impact at Trofeo Alfredo Binda this Sunday, the third women’s WorldTour race of the season and a ‘home’ race for the team, close to their European training base.
After strong and consistent performances so far in Europe, the Australian outfit are looking forward to the first real hilly test at the Italian one-day race.
The 131kilometre event starts with a 21kilometre route to a large circuit of 37kilometres, which includes a four kilometre climb, before the riders go on to complete four local laps of 17kilometres, which includes the Orino climb where attacks are often made.
The unpredictable weather in the area in March can have a big effect on how the race plays out, previously the race was won often by a breakaway group of climbers, but with so much strength and depth in the women’s peloton, now-a-days the race also has the potential to finish in a bunch sprint like in last year’s edition.
Amanda Spratt - 4th place in 2013
“This race is as close to a home race as we get, it’s just down the road from our European base and we race on roads that we train on all the time. I could pretty much ride the entire course with a blindfold I know it so well.”
“It can be a bit tricky to predict how the race will play out, so we will need to be flexible. More often it has been a smaller group coming to the finish, no more than ten riders, however last year it was a much bigger bunch. I expect an early break to go and then fireworks up the climb on the last lap. I think how this plays out will determine how big the bunch is coming to the finish line.”
“I think we can be confident that we have a very strong team for the course that can perform no matter how the race unfolds. Lucy Kennedy showed at Strade Bianche that she is already one of the strongest climbers in the peloton so I think this is a course that will really suit her with the climbs being a bit longer. Georgia Williams and Jenelle Crooks are both suited to this course and in good shape. Jess Allen has really taken a big step forward this year, she is always such a great asset to any team so I think she can play an important role on Sunday and Sarah Roy has been getting better and better each week. I think if it comes down to a scenario like last year then she can aim for a top result.”
“I have been managing an injury since Strade Bianche and have had to take some time off, so as far as my own form goes, I’m not sure how I will be. I think I will be a bit behind compared to where I want to be for this race but I know the course very well and it’s a race that I love. My fourth place finish from 2013 is still one of my career highlights, so I’m looking forward to suffering and having a great race with the team.”
Gene Bates - Sport Director
"We are looking forward to this race, after racing in Australia it’s our closest thing to a home race. Usually it’s quite a selective course, but last year showed that it could also come down to a reduced bunch sprint under the right conditions."
"Given the weather prediction of rain and snow, it could turn out to be a very tough race! I think we have a great team for Sunday, with multiple cards to play either way the race goes. Lucy Kennedy showed she is in great shape after her first outing in Strade Bianche, backed with the experience of Spratt on this course, I think we can achieve a great result in the finish."
Previously in Trofeo Alfredo Binda
The team has tasted success before in the event back in 2014 when former rider Emma Johansson won the sprint from a select front group of eight riders. The year before, in 2013, the race split with a solo winner with riders crossing the line one-by-one where Johansson placed second and Spratt took fourth place.
Annemiek van Vleuten has been around the mark on two occasions, finishing in eighth place in 2016 and last year sprinting in to sixth place, therefore the team knows how the race can play out.
Sunday, 18 March: Taino - Cittiglio, 131.1km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images