ORICA-SCOTT women excited to race new 2017 format of La Course

Mon 17 Jul 2017

The third edition of the UCI Women’s WorldTour event La Course by Le Tour de France will debut a new formula of professional road racing this week with ORICA-SCOTT women excited to be taking part with a strong and in form squad.

After yet again winning the Dutch national time trial championships and sealing third place overall at the Giro Rosa Annemiek van Vleuten will lead the team alongside Amanda Spratt who also comes back into the team after a strong showing at the Giro.

A ‘knock out’ style of racing has been adopted by the organisers for 2017 as the race takes place over two days of competition with the first day a 67.5kilometre road stage from Briancon up to the Col d’Izoard and an iconic summit finish.

The riders with the best times from stage one will then be invited to compete in a 22.5kilometre individual time trial two days later to coincide with the final time trial of the men in the Tour de France.

Taking place in the Orange Velodrome in Marseille the chosen riders will roll out in accordance with their finishing times from the Izoard in what the organisers term an “unprecedented and spectacular format.”

It is a race that is designed to target the climbers who can also time trial and after Van Vleuten’s two stage wins and mountains classification success in the Giro Rosa ORICA-SCOTT will be hoping for more of the same in France.

“We are really looking forward to the race,” said Sport director Gene Bates. “It’s a new format and we are approaching it with a strong squad and an open mind. Thursday’s race will be short, but very tough and obviously the aim will be to have as many riders as possible achieving good times and finishing high up in the standings to create the best chance of competing in Saturday’s event.”

“Both Annmiek and Spratty are both coming in on the back of a recovery period after strong performances at the Giro Rosa and they have a strong team around them to get them in good positions for the climb up the Izoard.

“They are both experienced riders and know where they will have to be to get a good result. We also have Rachel Neylan who has made a good return to competitive racing and New Zealander Georgia Williams, they are both solid climbers and will have the opportunity to give it their best shot.”

Australians Jenelle Crooks and Alexandra Manly complete the line up and will no doubt provide the consistently strong support that they have produced throughout the season.

“The race will provide great exposure for the team,” continued Bates. “And the way that the race is designed, Thursday’s stage will allow for more opportunities and freedom within the squad providing we hit the climb in good positions and it gives everyone the chance to really go for it.”

“We have the strength in depth and the motivation so we will be looking for a competitive race and with this parcours I don’t think we will have to look very far.”

ORICA-SCOTT at La Course (Thursday 20th July – Saturday 22nd July):

Jenelle Crooks (AUS, 23)

Alexandra Manly (AUS, 21)

Rachel Neylan (AUS, 34)

Amanda Spratt (AUS, 29)

Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 34)

Georgia Williams (NZ, 23)

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