ORICA-AIS looking to finish Australian Summer of racing on a highTue 26 Jan 2016
After a phenomenal start to the 2016 season with eight wins ORICA-AIS will be hoping to keep up the momentum by adding another victory to their tally at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this weekend.
The 2015 defending champion and bronze medallist from this year’s national championships Rachel Neylan will line up along side a strong ORICA-AIS selection that also includes newly crowned Australian champion Amanda Spratt, who is in fine form to take on the challenging course which is said to mimic a European classic.
“It’s super exciting to be the defending champion,” said Neylan. “This will be the first time I have lined up as the defending champion and it’ll be a new challenge racing with a target on my back rather than as the underdog.”
The Australia duo will have a strong team around them in the form of American Tayler Wiles and Queensland’s Loren Rowney, both new additions to the Australian outfit for 2016. Joining them Geelong-based Chloe McConville and 2014 Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy will be back in action rounding up the six-rider team.
“The team has shown that we have a full line up of girls in really strong form and that is a huge advantage for us.” said Neylan. “Whether it be me, or my teammates, we want to make an impact on the race and we have the numbers and ability to do that.”
Neylan expects to see fierce competition with many top international teams as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race steps up to become a UCI sanctioned event for 2016.
“It’s a big stepping stone for the Oceania region to establish itself as an early season opportunity for racing,” continued the 33 year old.
“Last year was one of the best days of cycling I raced in, including in Europe. It’s a race that enables fan engagement after the participation ride and the village atmosphere makes for something that we don’t often get exposure to, large crowds at races.”
With that in mind, the confident team have it all to play for on Saturday, hoping to impress in their final race on home soil, before taking off to tackle the European season.
The second edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race will take place on Saturday 30th January, followed by the men's race on Sunday 31st. With the course unchanged from last year it's all set be an action packed event starting and finishing along the Geelong Waterfront after 113km of racing.
ORICA-AIS at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race:
Chloe McConville (AUS, VIC, 28)
Rachel Neylan (AUS, NSW, 33)
Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 27)
Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 29)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, NSW, 28)
Tayler Wiles (USA, 26)