ORICA-AIS safely in bunch on stage 1 of Giro Rosa

Sat 4 Jul 2015

ORICA-AIS has finished safely in the bunch on the first stage of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile.

Following yesterday’s prologue, the first road stage finished in a bunch sprint. SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn Lizzie Williams was the team’s top finisher in 17th behind winner Barbara Guarischi (Velocio SRAM).

Italian Valentina Scandolara also finished safely in the bunch to remain in the top ten overall (ninth).

Five riders tried their luck in the day’s break but a climb mid-race saw that group reduce to just two before the peloton comfortably pulled it back together with five kilometres remaining.

Sports director Gene Bates said the team was happy to get through the day safely as their first priority.

“We just wanted to get through today reasonably unscathed,” Bates said. “We knew it was going to come down to a bunch sprint and so we were trying to set up Lizzie and Valentina for the finish.”

“Valentina got caught up with a kilometre to go and got pushed out of the sprint and that cost us a good result in the finish but it was not a huge target for us today.

“It was probably the heat that knocked everyone around a bit today, it was a super hot day. But all in all a pretty standard first day on a big Tour like this and a relatively quiet one for us as planned.”