ORICA-AIS ready for Norway TourTue 12 Aug 2014
An aggressive ORICA-AIS will line up for the Ladies Tour of Norway starting this Friday.
Welcoming Annette Edmondson and Melissa Hoskins back from national duties at the Commonwealth Games and enjoying the local knowledge of Swedish champion Emma Johansson, confidence is high amongst the group for the three-day Tour.
The six riders for the Ladies Tour of Norway are: Amanda Spratt, Annette Edmondson, Emma Johansson, Jessie MacLean, Melissa Hoskins and Valentina Scandolara
Starting with a short prologue on Friday, the race then hits the open road for two stages over the weekend.
“Over the course of two road stages and a prologue you really can't afford to sit back and ride defensively, you really have to attack it head on,” sport director Gene Bates said from the team’s training camp in Norway.
“We are going to look at the course over the next couple of days and really try and put ourselves in an advantageous position before the race starts.
“The two girls coming off the track are really well placed to go extremely well in the prologue. It’s only a short, technical course so Mel (Hoskins) will really target that for the best result possible.
“We will probably look to Emma (Johansson) also. It’s one of her home races, we don’t do many races in Norway and Sweden each year so she will be pretty motivated for that.
“Having said that, the rest of the bunch is going to be looking to Emma because they know she is from here so it always opens up the door and provides opportunities for other riders in the team to slip in the moves and take advantage of that situation.”
Bates said the short Tour was a little hard to predict, especially due to dramatically changing weather conditions, but the team wouldn’t leave it to chance.
“We really have to approach it like two one-day races and try to go for the best stage results possible,” Bates said.
“If we attack it that way, then I think that will set us up for a good overall position.
“We certainly can’t go into the race thinking it is all going to happen on Sunday and get the wool pulled over our eyes on Saturday.
“The first road stage is pretty lumpy and certainly the second stage is going to be quite difficult, there are a couple of hills towards the finish of the stage.
“Probably the other biggest factor up here is the weather conditions. It can change in a heartbeat.
“We are up here training at the moment and this morning we had rain, gale force winds and sun all in the space of a couple of hours so I think that will have a big factor in the way the race pans out as well.”
“I can’t see it being a huge bunch at all, these weather conditions could see ten riders get to the finish on both days. I would expect that actually.”
ORICA-AIS for the Ladies Tour of Norway: