ORICA-AIS to test progress at Vargarda World Cup

Thu 20 Aug 2015

Two motivated ORICA-AIS lineups will hit the road for the Vargarda World Cup this weekend, poised to capitalise after a recent team training camp. 

In a perfect opportunity to fine tune before the world championships later in the year, the Vargarda World Cup features a team time trial event this Friday, before capping off with a road race on Sunday.

Team Time Trial – Friday, 21st August

Following the success of last year’s program, ORICA-AIS will enter the Vargarda World Cup off the back of a recent training camp focusing particularly on the team time trial discipline.

“We did a similar program in the run in to the world cup last year but this year we stayed around Italy,” sport director Gene Bates said.  “It worked out perfectly, it was really stress-free, and we got some really good training done on both a velodrome nearby and on a road circuit we used.”

“We are really pleased with how we came out of it. Technically we are really good, now it’s just a case of getting the horsepower down on the course.

“We are running similar kinds or power and speeds to what we were doing last year, if not better, so the group is excited and everyone is looking forward to a big ride on Friday.”

As the only event available to participate at the world championships as a team, the team time trial is crucial to most professional outfits but is a discipline with limited opportunities to rehearse.

“This is the biggest chance we have and it really is a dress rehearsal for the world championships,” Bates said. “There is enough time between the world cup and world championships to really make the team as pointy as possible.”

“We want to get the best ride possible but it’ll be just as important to learn as much as we can about the group so we can do a big review after Friday’s race ahead of the world championships.

“That’s a good thing about the world cup - everyone has to show their cards. We can learn as much about other teams as we can about ourselves.”

ORICA-AIS for Vargarda TTT (21 August):

Gracie Elvin
Katrin Garfoot
Sarah Roy
Valentina Scandolara
Amanda Spratt
Lizzie Williams

Road Race – Sunday, 23rd August

Back to the traditional road race format on Sunday, the Vargarda World Cup is the penultimate round of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup.

The Swedish race has undergone a change in route that has seen the introduction of a large loop containing 2.5km of gravel road.

“This year the course has changed slightly,” Bates said. “They have a long loop to start with and there is actually some dirt road in it.  Then they do the finishing circuit, which was traditionally the only circuit they do. “

“The racing could do anything.

“Generally the race really breaks apart in the last couple of laps if they are just doing circuits, but this year they aren’t doing as many circuits so we might see a bigger group get to the finish. It’s a little bit unpredictable.”

With no riders competing for this year’s world rankings but a number of riders showing good form, ORICA-AIS will use their multiple cards to their advantage.

Amongst them is Swedish champion Emma Johansson who will be particularly motivated for her home race.

“Emma is motivated for every major race, criterium or club race that she rides in; she is the most motivated bike rider I have probably ever seen,” Bates said. “But this race is her home race, so she’ll find something extra I’m sure.”

“But going by what we have seen over the past two months, and even on the weekend in Norway, we are certainly not going to pin point one rider for Sunday.

“We have a whole range of riders that are capable of winning which is good for us because it makes it difficult to ride against. As long as we are on the front foot and putting down a good attacking style of racing, the girls will be really confident going into Sunday.”

ORICA-AIS for Vargarda RR (23 August): 

Gracie Elvin
Katrin Garfoot
Emma Johansson
Chloe McConville
Valentina Scandolara
Amanda Spratt