ORICA-AIS ready to challenge on the Champs Elysees

Wed 20 Jul 2016

After producing consistent results throughout the previous month, ORICA-AIS head to Paris this weekend ready for the challenge in the third edition of La course by Le Tour de France.

This year the race steps up to be a part of the new UCI Women's WorldTour events, attracting the world's best teams for a showdown around the famous Champs Elysees prior to the arrival of Le Tour de France. 

The one-day race has rapidly become one of the most anticipated races on the women's calendar with the number of roadside fans and the reach of international television coverage arguably the highest.

"It's a great showcase of women's cycling on the big stage," explained sport director Gene Bates. "I think it is a great opportunity for people who may not usually tune in to watch cycling or women's cycling to see what it is all about."

"It's huge for the progression of women's cycling, the fact that the women have the opportunity to race on the Champs Elysees ahead of the men's arrival. The spectators and the buzz around the whole event is just incredible."

The Australian outfit bring in some fresh faces to their line up for La course with only two riders doubling up coming straight in from the current tour in Germany, Thüringen Rundfahrt.

The two riders, Tour de Feminin stage winner Loren Rowney and American Tayler Wiles will be joined by three fairly young team members Alexandra Manly, Jenelle Crooks and Jessica Allen. The young trio will make their debut of this special race as speed star Sarah Roy rounds up the six-rider squad.

"Last year with the weather conditions the circumstances were different and the race winner won solo," continued Bates. "Usually it is the kind of circuit that will end in a bunch sprint."

"It's a lot harder than people give it credit for, it is actually up hill all the way to the Arc de Triomphe and on cobbles, so it certainly takes it's toll. I expect it will be a reduced bunch sprint. 

"We will look to be aggressive throughout the race and look for opportunities but ultimately we will look to do a lead-out and try and help either Roy or Rowney for the sprint.

"Both of these girls have shown their sprinting abilities in the last month achieving podiums against good riders, so we will chat before the race and decide who we will commit to on the day and really back that rider for the win." 

The WorldTour race takes place on Sunday 24th with the riders completing 13laps of the seven kilometre circuit, passing by the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and past the Louve finishing with a total distance of 89kilometres. 

ORICA-AIS riders for La course (10024th July):

Jessica Allen (AUS, WA, 23)

Jenelle Crooks (AUS, WA, 21)

Alexandra Manly (AUS, WA, 20)

Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 27) 

Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 30) 

Tayler Wiles (USA, 27)