ORICA-AIS ready for Paris showdownSat 25 Jul 2015
Straight off the back of their success at Thuringen Rundfarht, ORICA-AIS promises another show at La Course by Le Tour de France in Paris tomorrow.
It will be second edition of the one-day race, raced on the famous Champs Elysees prior to the arrival of Le Tour de France. The roadside fans and reach of the international television coverage is amongst the most ever seen by the women’s peloton.
ORICA-AIS will remain largely unchanged from the team that achieved great success, including overall victory and a stage win, in Germany earlier this week.
The four finishing riders in Emma Johansson, Gracie Elvin, Amanda Spratt and Chloe McConville all line up with huge confidence. World track champion Melissa Hoskins returns after sickness saw her withdraw from the German Tour and Lizzie Williams is brought in to replace Sarah Roy who suffered a knee injury.
Their core value remains – be aggressive. A trait they demonstrated in abundance on the final stage of Thuringen on Thursday.
Whilst a bunch sprint seems the most likely outcome, sport director Martin Barras reminds us there is more than what meets the eye.
“From les Jardins des Tuileries, through la Concorde all the way up to the majestic Arc de Triomphe, it is the ultimate cycling stage on which to perform,” Barras said.
“The aspiring star here need not to succumb to the appeal of the almost certain bunch sprint it will produce and drop their guard.
“As with all great performance venues, the traps are numerous and one needs to manage the finish line false flat, the unrelenting cobbles, the stretching of the bunch around the Arc de Triomphe and the heat exacerbated by a stage made of stones and concrete. And I will not even mention the pressure…!”
On a big occasion for the Australian outfit, and their rivals, Barras is confident of a great show.
“The spectators are numerous and cultured in cycling. The television audience is massive and the occasion can be overwhelming,” Barras said.
“But for the winner, it’s the promise of immediate stardom and recognition of an audience far greater than our sport normally gathers.
“We come here full of hope. As Thuringen has showed, our form is good and our intent is clear.”
ORICA-AIS at La Course by Le Tour de France (26 July):