ORICA-SCOTT women return to Belgium for Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik with two-time winner ElvinFri 26 May 2017
ORICA-SCOTT return to Belgium this weekend for the one-day classic event Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik with two-time defending champion Gracie Elvin in the team line-up.
The 28-year old had a strong spring classics season with a highlight being second place at the iconic Tour of Flanders and this Sunday she will head the six-rider ORICA-SCOTT squad.
Elvin relished the harsh weather conditions in 2015 and 2016 to come out on top and this year returns to the race relaxed, but motivated at the possibility of a hat-trick.
“I don’t have any pressure on myself for this weekend, of course it would be awesome to win it again but I have just been focusing on building back up after the spring classics,” Elvin explained.
“It was really good to have a training camp in Spain in the sun after the first part of the season and then last week racing in the Basque country, so the confidence is starting to come back a bit now.
“I want to race hard and as a team we can definitely look to win it with any of the riders. We will definitely be thinking about how to win it again."
The Canberra rider will have a stellar ORICA-SCOTT team around her with Emakumeen XXX Bira stage winner Amanda Spratt, SwissEver GP-Cham winner Sarah Roy and Kiwi Georgia Williams.
Joining the team for her first road race of the season is track star Georgia Baker, with youngster Alex Manly rounding up the Australian outfit.
Unlike the two previous editions, the weather forecast is set to be pleasant with warm temperatures and the absence of rain.
“The last two year’s have been wet but I looked at the forecast and it looks to be around 30 degrees so it will be quite different this time around,” Elvin continued. “I don’t love racing in the rain but I don’t mind if it rains as I know I can keep at it, my skills are pretty good and other riders tend to give up a little when it is wet.”
“I’m currently trying to build up for the Women’s Tour of Britain, so this weekend is a good starting point. You have to be in good shape to do well at these races, it has been getting harder and harder every year."
Before the second half of the season really kicks off with regular stage races, the Belgium race provides one last classic style race which Elvin welcomes with open arms.
“I am always sad when the spring is over so it nice to kind of get one more taste of it," Elvin said. "I love racing in Belgium and I have good memories from this year’s spring classics so it is nice to have a go at another Belgium cobble classic.”
The one-dayer takes place this Sunday 28th May and takes in tough cobble climbs such as the Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik (28th May):
Georgia Baker – (AUS 22)
Grace Elvin - (AUS 28)
Alexandra Manly - (AUS 21)
Sarah Roy - (AUS 31)
Amanda Spratt - (AUS 29)
Georgia Williams - (NZL 23)
Photo courtesy of ©TDWsport.com