ORICA-SCOTT women to make their first appearance at Dwars door VlaanderenSun 19 Mar 2017
The classics season is upon us and ORICA-SCOTT women are set to start their Belgian campaign at the sixth edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen next week.
“We haven’t done this race as a team before, last year we chose to focus solely on Gent Wevelgem,” said Sport director Gene Bates. “Needless to say it’s a great race and wonderful preparation for the Tour of Flanders, and it gives the girls a great shorter race over the cobbles and climbs.”
2011 Tour of Flanders winner Annemiek van Vleuten is showing signs of good form after two top five placings at the recent Strade Bianche and Ronde van Drenthe and will lead the line alongside Australians Gracie Elvin and Sarah Roy.
“We have a strong team here and it could go in several directions for us and we are keen to give everyone opportunities throughout the race,” continued Bates. “Typically it has come down to a sprint of sorts, and I think we have a couple of fast options if this occurs again this year.”
“Sarah has demonstrated that she is fast enough to win if the race comes down to a smaller group that contests the final, but either way we have a balanced and versatile squad and will be looking to race positively whatever the situation.”
The five rider team is completed by former Australian U23 national road race champion Jenelle Crooks and New Zealander Georgia Williams.
Dwars door Vlaanderen has been part of the women’s calendar since 2012 and is a categorised 1.1 race covering close to 130kilometres around the Flemish Ardennes.
The route traverses many of the iconic cobbled climbs that characterise the northern European spring classics creating a demanding parcours often contested in wet conditions.
ORICA-SCOTT at Dwars door Vlaanderen (Wednesday 22nd March):
Jenelle Crooks (AUS, 22)
Gracie Elvin (AUS, 28)
Sarah Roy (AUS, 31)
Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED, 34)
Georgia Williams (NZ, 23)
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com