ORICA-AIS Prepares for Pan Flat Racing in Padova

Fri 15 Mar 2013

After a big block of hard racing in harsh conditions in Belgium and Holland, ORICA-AIS prepares for warmer racing in Italy at the 126 kilometre Classica Citta di Padova. Italian riders won the first three editions from 2008 to 2010 (Annalisa Cucinotta, Monia Baccallie and Noemi Cantele, respectively). Carmen Small, an all-around rider racing the US National Team won in 2012, by attacking out of an eleven women break on the last lap to get the best of Simona Frapporti, the only woman to respond to her attack.

Melissa Hoskins will begin her road season with the Classica after a long season on the track.

“My last road race was the Jayco Bay Crits where I successfully defended my overall title,” explains Hoskins. “Straight from the Bay Crits, I went back to the track to prepare for the World Championships in late February. My track season ended on the podium in Minsk, Belarus alongside my team pursuit partners with a World Championship silver medal around my neck. Now, after a little bit of downtime at my home away from home in Gerona, I am looking forward to getting back on the road again.”

On paper the race profile looks like a course designed for the sprinters. There are only three small climbs, which all fall within the first 26.8 kilometres of the race, that could be potential launching pads for early breaks but insignificant enough to do any ‘damage’ to the peloton. The following 99.2 kilometres will take part on eight laps of a 12.4 kilometre circuit. The pan flat circuit resembles something of a criterium course that is littered with tight turns where riders can take advantage of being the first out of turns for attacks. It’s here where riders will also take the opportunity to launch attacks as the peloton is strung out behind and fewer riders have the ability to respond.

ORICA-AIS will only have four riders on the start line in Noventa Padovana instead of the usual six due to illness, but the team is optimistic about its chances.

“Having four riders limits how much we can do and what we can do within the race. However, at the end of the day, only one person crosses the line and wins. We still have four people who could do,” declares Hoskins.

When asked about team tactics, Mel explains, “Friday night the team will sit down together to chat with Macca [Dave McPartland] to get a better idea of the course. Then I will talk with the girls and to Jessie [MacLean], who is my lead out, about the finish. It is pan flat so other than wind or a technical finish, there is little that would prevent a bunch sprint”.

ORICA-AIS for Classica Citta di Padova:

Jessie MacLean (@aussiejessmac)
Melissa Hoskins (@MelissaMHoskins)
Shara Gillow (@SharaGillow)
Sungeun Gu (@eun1709