ORICA-AIS round up their European campaign at the Madrid Challenge

Thu 8 Sep 2016

ORICA-AIS head to Madrid this weekend for their final race of the European season, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.

The 87kilometre city centre race is the final event in the 2016 Women’s WorldTour series, taking place this Sunday ahead of the men’s final stage of the Vuelta a España.

The Australian outfit are keen to conclude their successful season on a high, bringing in a motivated speedy team to tackle the tough 14lap race.

Sport director Gene Bates is looking forward to the event, confident in the riders after their recent performances.

“We have three really fast girls for this race with Loren Rowney, Sarah Roy and Gracie Elvin,” explained Bates. “Sarah won a stage last week in the Boels Rental Ladies Tour and Loren has been riding consistent in bunch sprints this second past of the season.”

“After their performances recently I think all the girls will be really confident going into this kind of race.

“These city centre circuit races are always hard, they are always raced flat out with riders continuously attacking and I am sure Madrid will be the same.”

Providing key support for the three older, experienced riders are the two youngsters Jess Allen and Jenelle Crooks who round up the strong five-rider ORICA-AIS team.

With just a handful of races left on the women’s UCI calendar, many big named riders are on the start list, all on the hunt for victory in their final build up to the World Championships in Doha in one months time.

“The riders we have are all in good nick and still really motivated,” continued Bates. “This is the most important thing this time of the season.”

“Some of these girls are likely to ride the World Championships, so it’s also good final race for them to have a hit out and I am confident in their abilities.”

The 5.8kilometre circuit features a wearing uphill drag plus many hair pin corners and is set to be another fast and furious one-day race.

ORICA-AIS at the Madrid Challenge (11th Sept):

Jessica Allen (AUS, WA, 23)

Jenelle Crooks (AUS, WA, 21)

Gracie Elvin (AUS, ACT, 27) 

Loren Rowney (AUS, QLD, 28)

Sarah Roy (AUS, NSW, 30)