Motivated ORICA-AIS ready for Vargarda World Cup

Thu 21 Aug 2014

Two motivated ORICA-AIS lineups will hit the road for the Vargarda World Cup with weekend, poised to capitalise after a recent team training camp.

The Vargarda World Cup features a team time trial event this Friday and a road race on Sunday.

Friday 22nd August – Team Time Trial

ORICA-AIS issued a particular focus on team time trialing in 2014 and the opportunity to test their results presents itself at the twilight 42.5km race against the clock starting in Friday.  

The six riders for the Vargarda Team Time Trial are: Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson, Gracie Elvin, Melissa Hoskins, Shara Gillow and Valentina Scandolara

Sport director Gene Bates is confident that after a series of team camps throughout the year, including the latest that wraps up with the Vargarda event, will service the team well when they hit the road tomorrow.

“It’s been a bit of a headache trying to pick the team,” Bates said.

“We have eight really good girls that are all riding really well at the moment so it was actually a hard team to pick but I think we have got the best team together for this Friday.

“We have done alot of work this year on team time trialing and that has been pretty deliberate.

“We sat together as a group at the start of this season and said if we are serious about the team time trial and really want to get a good result at the world cup and world championships then we wanted to put together a plan for the year to focus on that.

“That is what we have done, we have had three really good camps now, two in Italy and one in Norway and Sweden and we are now really excited about racing this weekend and pulling together a good race.”

Sunday, 24th August – Road Race

Back to the traditional road race format on Sunday, the Vargarda World Cup is the penultimate round of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup.

Swedish champion Emma Johansson (295 points) currently sits second overall, 125 points behind Elizabeth Armistead (420)

The six riders for the Vargarda Road Race are: Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson, Gracie Elvin, Katrin Garfoot, Shara Gillow and Valentina Scandolara.

Sport director Gene Bates said the team’s first priority was a good result on Sunday.

“We just want to get the best result possible,” Bates said.

“If that is with Emma that’s great, but I think we will look to give the other girls a good opportunity also to get up the road and try and get a good result for themselves.

“It would be really pleasing to see a great ride on Friday and then backed up with an exceptional team ride on Sunday.

“We have really got a good group of fit and motivated bike riders and at this time of year it goes a long way in our favour.  I think they can really capitalise on that.”

The 132.5km race consists of 12 laps of an 11km circuit, a challenge that Bates predicts will test the bunch.

“Doing the circuit once isn’t that bad, but over 12 laps I think it will be a bit of a race of attrition,” Bates said.

“It’s quite technical and there is few sharp climbs in the circuit and like we have mentioned before the weather up here is super unpredictable so we could have wind, rain or sun and we will probably get it all on Sunday.

“I don’t think we will be super aggressive from the start, we will let the girls warm into the race, see how it is panning out and look to be aggressive once we pass that midway point.

“It’s always a numbers game, especially when you are racing a team like Rabobank who are all going very strong at the moment. 

“The only way that we can beat the likes of the teams such Rabobank and Specialized is to have numbers in that front group in the last 20-30km. Then we can play off that and set up hopefully for the victory.”