ORICA-SCOTT women head to Melbourne looking for victories in the final Australian summer racesMon 23 Jan 2017
Straight from winning the team classification at the recent Santos Women’s Tour, ORICA-SCOTT are back in action this week in the third edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The team will also race in an inaugural criterium race, the Towards Zero Race Melbourne, which takes place a couple of days earlier.
The 63.3kilometre circuit race is the latest addition to the ever growing Australian summer calendar and will this year will fall on Australia day around the world-famous Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit in Melbourne.
The new criterium is likely to have a great atmosphere, large crowds and an impressive line-up with it being just two days prior to the UCI category Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“To have an event of this stature in the centre of Melbourne and on Australia day is great for us and for the sport,” explained sport director Martin Barras. “With the quality of the teams it is going to be a great spectacle and a great opportunity for women’s cycling.”
ORICA-SCOTT will bring a team of five-riders with a mix of both power and speed in newly crowned Australian Road Race Champion Katrin Garfoot, Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten and youngster Jenelle Crooks, all fresh from their recent team success at the Santos Women’s Tour.
The trio will be joined by former Australian champion Gracie Elvin and former criterium champion Sarah Roy, making it a diverse and capable team.
“We will look for opportunities in the criterium race and try to be aggressive,” Barras continued. “We have seen from the recent Santos Women’s Tour that there are sprinter in top form in this early part of the season, so we will work to make it a hard race, however if it does come down to a sprint then we will have an option.”
The race consists of 12laps of a 5.3kilometre circuit and with fast criterium racing in the legs after the Michelton Bay Cycling Classic and the recent Santos Women’s Tour, the in-form squad are confident and ready for the challenge.
Two days later on Saturday 28th, the riders return to Geelong for the third edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and will add the 2016 defending champion, Amanda Spratt, to their stellar roster.
Spratt recently took out a stage win and the overall victory at the Santos Women’s Tour and is very much looking forward to returning to this event as the defending champion, with a strong and motivated team around her.
“It is a race that I love and I know that I am in great shape coming off the Santos Women’s Tour,” Spratt explained. “We have had a very successful month, we have shown in all the racing that the team is fit and strong at the moment.”
“I really love the course, it has a little bit of everything and it is very much like a classic race in a lot of ways.
“If the wind is blowing then the first part of the race can be really hard and then the finale is always hard with all the hills, so I am really looking forward to it and will try to defend my 2016 victory.”
Jenelle Crooks (AUS 21)
Grace Elvin (AUS 27)
Katrin Garfoot (AUS 34)
Sarah Roy (AUS 30 )
Amanda Spratt (AUS 29) *Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race only
Annemeik van Vleuten (NED 33)
Thursday 26th January:
Towards Zero Race Melbourne, 63.6kilometres
Saturday 28th January:
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, 113kilometres