ORICA-AIS ready for TTT world championshipsWed 17 Sep 2014
ORICA-AIS have selected a strong six-women lineup for the team time trial at the world championships in Proferrada, Spain this Sunday.
A focus in 2014, the squad is looking to capitalise on the trio of training camps assigned to the discipline this season.
The six riders for the UCI Women’s Time Trial are: Amanda Spratt, Annette Edmondson, Emma Johansson, Jessie MacLean, Melissa Hoskins and Valentina Scandolara.
Sport director Gene Bates said the team had identified the team time trial as a specific focus for 2014 at the start of the season.
“We said really early in the year that we wanted to have a focus on the team time trial this year,” Bates explained.
“So we have had three camps throughout the year, really focusing on technical skills and the strategy we will have leading into the world championships.
“It’s all gone really well. Unfortunately we have lost two good riders to injury in Loes Gunnewijk, which was obviously a while ago now, but also Shara Gillow who we just lost from the race in Holland a couple of weeks ago.”
The team time trial will be raced on a 36.15km course this Sunday. The parcours remain relatively flat until a climb in the final six kilometres.
Despite the injury setbacks, Bates is confident the team can achieve a formidable result, aiming for a top three ride.
“The team is really looking forward to it,” Bates said.
“We have a really strong team, we are really motivated and everyone is really fresh in the mind and looking forward to putting a great race together.
“I think a podium is a realistic goal for us. There are some really strong teams out there, obviously Specialized-Lululemon who won convincingly at the world cup and also Rabobank and Boels Dolmans team.
“They are the three biggest threats to us going into Sunday but we will focus on ourselves, no one else and put the best ride together we can.”
Despite a disappointing final world cup hit out last month, where the team finished fourth, Bates is confident of redemption.
“We did the last world cup in Sweden and it didn’t really go to the plan that we had hoped for,” Bates said.
“But I think we have learnt a fair bit from that and we are quite confident leading into the championships now.
“We will do a few really key sessions over the next few days in Ponferrada looking at the specifics of the course and sharpening up and then we race on Sunday.”
ORICA-AIS at the UCI World Team Time Trial: