ORICA-AIS hungry for success in Luxembourg

Tue 26 Apr 2016

After producing consistent results all season, ORICA-AIS travel to Luxembourg this weekend to race the three-day Festival Elsy Jacobs, determined to reach the top step of the podium and round off a strong start to their European season campaign.

Last year the Australian outfit claimed podium finishes in the each of the hilly road stages with Australian champion Amanda Spratt and Australian time trial champion Katrin Garfoot. Overall Garfoot went on to finished in fourth place with Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten claiming second. 

"In the past both the team and Annemiek have had really good results at this race," explained sport director Gene Bates. "I don't think we have actually ever had a team going this well heading into this race, so it's all pointing towards us having a really good weekend."

"The girls are really hungry for success and we really want to finish off this spring block in a nice way.

"The team will then have a little break and go to a May training camp after this, so it really is our last shot of getting a good result to finish off the first part of the season." 

The weekend's race, known in full as the Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclist feminine Elsy Jacobs is named after the first winner of a women's UCI world championship road race and consists of three stages.

A short, sharp 2.8kilometre prologue begins proceedings on Friday evening followed by two lumpy road stages, providing the motivated squad with three varied stages to suit different rider's strengths. 

"The prologue is super short with a climb to start with," Bates continued. "It's going to be all about who can get up the climb the fastest and have good recovery to keep the power down all the way to the finish."

"I think we have got a handful of riders that could go really well in this prologue. We will take the prologue as it is and then reassess to see where we stand in terms of overall ambitions and stage wins. We have got a really good opportunity this weekend." 

Former world championship medallist Rachel Neylan welcomes the lumpy stage race as the spring season draws to an end and the stage race season begins.

SwissEver GP Cham winner Lizzie Williams and Féminin International de l'Ardèche winner Tayler Wiles round up the six rider squad, bringing strength and experience after both producing solid performances all season. 

The race kicks off on Friday 29th with the lung bursting prologue before heading out around the rolling roads of the Luxembourg.

ORICA-AIS in Festival Elsy Jacobs (29th April-1st May):

Katrin Garfoot (AUS, QLD, 34) 
Rachel Neylan (AUS, NSW, 33) 
Amanda Spratt (AUS, NSW, 28)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 33) 
Tayler Wiles (USA, 26) 
Lizzie Williams (AUS, VIC, 32) 


Festival Elsy Jacobs stages:

Friday, 29th April: Cessange - Cessange, Prologue 2.8km

Saturday, 30th April: Steinfort - Steinfort, 106km

Sunday, 1st May: Garnich - Garnich, 111km