ORICA-AIS on the rise as the international season is ready to beginMon 1 Feb 2016
After a faultless start to the 2016 season ORICA-AIS travel to the Middle East for the eighth edition of The Ladies Tour Of Qatar running from the 2nd - 5th of Febuary.
Having twice won the team classification of this race the team will be looking to build on the recent successes of the Australian summer and carry their excellent form into the start of the international campaign.
Last year's edition saw Gracie Elvin place tenth overall in the general classification after four flat and windy stages, while this year's first stage provides a preview of the 2016 World Championship Road Race in October by using the same roads and route. Experienced Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten will make her debut with the team.
"We have a great team here especially with the addition of Annemiek for the first time this season, she has been training well over the European winter and will be keen to show off her new team colors no doubt," sport director Gene Bates said.
"Obviously coming off the back of such a successful Summer period in Australia, the team is keen to keep this momentum going in Qatar also. The first "big" tour of the year, it is always a bit of a guessing game as to who will be in good shape from the other teams - it really shows who has worked hard in the offseason and who has taken it a bit easier."
In terms of objectives for the team, we have several riders who are capable of stage results and also overall honor. The team is super motivated and more importantly, really working cohesively together. I would expect we can realistically aim for stage wins and a good overall result. The main thing is that we will go in with a clear game plan of what we want to do - and how we can achieve this," he added.
Due to the topography of the land expect more strong winds and heat over the four predominantly flat stages, taking in the majestic Arabian Gulf and cultural quarters of Qatar. The field will be strong and the backdrop should be spectacular but with the confidence levels of the team already high the scene looks to be well and truly set.
ORICA-AIS at the Ladies Tour Of Qatar
Ladies Tour Of Qatar - Race Details
Tue 2nd Feb : Stage 1, Katara Cultural Village to Qatar University 97km
Wed 3rd Feb : Stage 2, Sheikh Al Faisal Museum to Al Khor Corniche 120km
Thu 4th Feb : Stage 3, A Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal 112km
Fri 5th Feb : Stage 4, Aspire Zone to Doha Corniche 73km