ORICA-SCOTT women looking ahead to Strade Bianche at the weekendWed 1 Mar 2017
The third edition of the Strade Bianche women’s race takes place this Saturday with ORICA-SCOTT returning and looking to improve on the top ten finish achieved by Annemiek van Vleuten in 2016.
With back to back podiums in Belgium at the weekend following on from a successful Australian summer, the team are visibly on a high right now and aiming to maintain momentum in Siena on Saturday.
“After a good start in Belgium the team is aiming for a strong showing in Strade Bianche,” said Sport director Martin Barras. “With 30kilometres of hilly dirt roads and a possibility of rain on race days, keeping numbers up front and counting on good luck will be the base of many team strategies.”
“This is a race very much like Paris Roubaix, where it is very difficult to recover from any incident and staying aware at all times is crucial. Obviously outside of a trip to a local church we can’t do much about controlling our luck, but we are approaching this race with confidence.”
Current Australian national road race and time trial champion Katrin Garfoot returns to the team and starts her European campaign here and will be joined by compatriot Gracie Elvin and Dutch star van Vleuten.
New signing Georgia Williams starts her second race with the team and completes the line up alongside Santos Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt and Jenelle Crooks.
“We have a strong six rider squad for this race,” continued Barras. “And our performances in Belgium over the weekend has re-enforced our confidence in our ability to minimise risk and have good numbers up there for the finale.”
“As always we are expecting an aggressive race as the course lends itself to attacks and it certainly does not favour those who play the waiting game.”
Strade Bianche takes place on Saturday 4th of March and covers 121kilometres across challenging terrain in and around the medieval Italian city of Siena.
With seven sectors of white gravel roads coming before the uphill finish into the Piazza del Campo, the race shares characteristics with the older Northern classics and will be aggressive from the flag drop.
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com