ORICA-AIS active at Ronde van GelderlandSun 19 Apr 2015
ORICA-AIS has featured in all the main moves of the day at Ronde van Gelderland today, eventually settling with 11th position courtesy of Melissa Hoskins from a bunch sprint.
The Australian outfit started with just five riders after Swedish champion Emma Johansson fell ill ahead of the race but rode aggressively, each rider playing a valuable role in a positive day on the road for the team.
“It was a really good ride by our team today,” sport director Gene Bates said. “We were riding good position all day, we were ready for the action when it happened and we had two experienced riders in both the dangerous moves of the day."
“We are probably lacking that real end result, but the way the team rode made it a really positive race for us.”
Early climbs broke us the race early but the peloton reformed heading into the final stages of the 126.7km race.
“Once we got through the early climbing section that split up the race, we hit the narrow roads of Holland with lots of twisting and turning and road furniture and it all came back together,” Bates said.
“Then with 20km to go, a dangerous move went off the front with eight riders. It was really well represented by teams and we had Gracie Elvin there, which was perfect for us, and would have been happy to see that go.”
With Wiggle Honda the only major outfit to miss the move, responsibility sat with them to chase. And that they did.
“Once Wiggle got on top of that eight rider break, another move went and we had Loes Gunnewijk in it. She attacked that group coming into the finish, before Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans CT) bridged across and straight past her.
“Everything was cleaned up by the bunch except for Blaak who narrowly missed out on the victory, caught with 200m to go.”
Eventually Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) took her third consecutive victory at the race.
Amongst the ORICA-AIS outfit was European debutant Macey Stewart and Alex Manly in just her second start for the team. In good signs for the future, Bates was really pleased with their early contributions.
“Macey had a fall half way through the race, in a ten-rider pile up so unavoidable for her, but she was OK and got back in after a bike change,” Bates said.
“Both her and Alex really handled themselves well.
“By all accounts they were helping out the team, covering attacks and doing everything right. Today was a good early experience for them and the learning will continue over the next couple of weeks.”