ORICA-AIS Time Trial to Second Place on Holland Ladies Tour Stage TwoWed 4 Sep 2013
ORICA-AIS proved the second quickest team over the 32km team time trial in Coevorden. The Australian outfit posted a time of 40’08, finishing 1’15 behind Specialized lululemon who won the second stage of the Boels Rental Holland Ladies Tour. Rabobank-Liv/Giant rounded out the stage podium with a time of 40’30, 1’37 behind the stage winners.
“We did reasonably well,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “We were a bit too conservative at the start, and I think that’s where we lost the most time. The way we paced things was probably our biggest mistake. We came home with six girls when we probably should have used up two in the last 10km and crossed the line with only four.”
“This is not the team that we’ll take to Worlds,” McPartland added. “The team will be stronger when Emma [Johansson] comes back into the team. That’s a fair amount of time made up right there. Between putting Emma back in and working on our pacing, we’ll see significant gains before the Worlds at the end of the month.”
Although the course included a lot of corners, it was not highly technical. The long, straight stretches of road that separated the corners required steady, high speeds.
“There were a number of corners, but mostly it was just long straights,” McPartland explained. “It was important to stay in formation and spend a lot of time at high speeds on the straights. The corners were important, but no one was going to lose the race on the corners only.”
“The road surface was good,” McPartland added. “There was nothing to complain about there. We spent a lot of time on narrow farm roads. The wind wasn’t that so strong, so that didn’t really have an impact today. It wasn’t too technical, and we considered it a good course in preparation for the Worlds.”
Despite their slow start, ORICA-AIS posted the second fastest time at the intermediate split, 43” behind Specialized-lululemon. The team limited losses to 33” in the second half of the stage.
“I wasn’t too excited when I saw that we had lost 43” in the first half of the race,” McPartland admitted. “I had hoped that we’d be within 40” to Specialized-lululemon at the final. We’re gauging ourselves off the win, so to be 1’15 down is a bit disappointing.”
“While I am disappointed with our result and the time gap today, I’m confident that we can improve our pacing,” McPartland added. “If we had put in our best effort with our Worlds team and were still more than a minute down on lululemon, I’d be concerned. I’m not. I know we can improve, and I know the girls will be in the mix of things at Worlds.”
With their team time trial win, Specialized-lululemon now dominates the general classification results, occupying the top six spots. Trixi Worrack leads the overall by 4” on Ellen Van Dijk and 10” on Lisa Brennauer.
Nettie Edmondson is best placed for ORICA-AIS in seventh overall, tied for time with Mel Hoskins in eighth place, at 1’19. Edmondson remains in the best young rider jersey after the second day of racing. The Dutch tour continues on Thursday with a stage that favours the sprinters.