Our Jam Packed January

Wed 1 Jan 2014

A jam-packed January of racing is about to kick off Down Under. Our typical season opener, the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, begins this evening and sets off a month of action. Below, we outline who is racing where and when and share our objectives as we head into season number three.

Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic // January 2-5
race website

Shara Gillow seized the first win for the GreenEDGE family when she won the third race of the 2012 Jayco Bay Cycling Classic. The women’s squad had even more reason to celebrate the when Melissa Hoskins clinched the series overall. In 2013, Hoskins won the final day of the then three-day series en route to a repeat overall victory.

Although the men’s team missed out on a race win during their first appearance in 2012, consistent performances by former rider Allan Davis earned him overall victory in 2012. In 2013, Luke Durbridge won in Portarlington to give ORICA-GreenEDGE their first Bay Crits race win. Mitch Docker quickly delivered Bay Crits victory number two the following day in Williamstown.

It’s worth nothing that Caleb Ewan, on pre-contract with the team until he joins as a stagiaire in August, has won three out of seven days of Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic racing over the past two years, and returns as defending overall champion with the Subaru NSWIS squad.

What they’re saying about Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:

“As a sprinter, I’ll be a protected rider if the race comes down to a sprint, but over the last couple of years, we’ve seen races play out a lot of different ways. We’re bringing a strong team, and we have a lot of options.” – Nettie Edmondson

“I’m racing as part of the Australian National Team alongside my trade teammates Shara Gillow and Carlee Taylor as well as Emily Roper and Louisa Lobigs. Teams are limited to only five riders, so this gives Shara, Carlee and I an alternate option if we wanted to race – which we definitely did. I suspect there will be some friendly competition between my teammates and I, who I normally support for every other race during the year.” – Gracie Elvin

“The main objective for us is to start the season off strong. I would expect that we could win one or two of the four days of racing. We certainly have riders capable of winning on any of the four courses.” – ORICA-AIS Sport Director Gene Bates

“The Bay Crits fills a nice spot on the calendar for us. It’s not the biggest race of the year, but it’s a great opportunity to race in front of a home crowd and get some short and fast racing in the legs leading into two of our really big objectives for the season: Australian National Championships and Tour Down Under.” – ORICA-GreenEDGE Sport Director Matt Wilson 

ORICA-AIS for Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:

Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Annette Edmondson (AUS)
Jessie MacLean (AUS)
Loes Gunnewijk (NED)
Valentina Scandolara (ITA)

Also racing – Carlee Taylor (AUS), Gracie Elvin (AUS) and Shara Gillow (AUS) as part of the Jayco National Team

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:

Leigh Howard (AUS)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Matt Goss (AUS)
Mitch Docker (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)

Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships // January 8-12
Wednesday, 8 January – Time Trials
Thursday, 9 January – Criteriums
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January – Road Races
race website

The GreenEDGE family has captured 10 of the 12 titles up for grabs at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships during the team’s first two years in existence.

ORICA-AIS secured a clean sweep in its maiden season with Amanda Spratt (road), Shara Gillow (time trial) and Alex Rhodes (criterium). In 2013, Gillow repeated victory in the individual time trial and Gracie Elvin bested a late race break for the road win.

On the men’s side, Durbridge made history last season when he became the first male professional in the modern era to win both the time trial and road race in the same year. Cameron Meyer took a surprise victory in the criterium to give the team all three titles in 2013. The previous year, Simon Gerrans won the road race while Durbridge took his first elite national title in the time trial.

Both squads are hungry for repeat performances and enter the 2014 season with the goal of securing additional green and gold jerseys. In the time trial, Durbridge is on the hunt for his third consecutive title; while Gillow is hoping for a record-breaking fourth win. Both the women’s and men’s squads boast multiple options in the road race  and criterium and will support any effort to keep the jersey within the GreenEDGE family.

What they’re saying about Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships:

“We have a strong team here and the goal is to win and for somebody in our team to go to Europe with a national champion jersey again. The good thing about our team is that it doesn’t matter who it is, as long as it is one of us. That’s basically the goal, but it will certainly be tough and there is some really strong competition next year.” – Amanda Spratt

“The road race is our main objective. We want to take the jersey back to Europe, and we definitely have the riders suited to accomplish this goal, especially now that the course is back to only the hard laps of the Mount Buninyong circuit. We have good depth within the team. One of the surprises on the day could be Carlee Taylor. She’s new to our team for 2014, really focused on the road race, and I think we could expect to see a good ride from her. But when it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter who gets the jersey. If one person wins, we all do” – ORICA-AIS Sport Director Gene Bates.  

“The national road championship is an important race, and it’s particularly important for ORICA-GreenEDGE. We’d love to have someone on top of the podium for the third year in a row. It’s a race that the team puts a lot of emphasis on and encourages us to be in good condition for. We’re going there with a really strong group of riders, and we’ve got to use that to our advantage.” – Simon Gerrans

“It means a great deal for Australian cyclists. We really covet the green and gold jersey. I’m quite patriotic, and I really enjoyed the experience of riding the Giro and Paris-Roubaix in the jersey.” – Luke Durbridge

“We’re chasing our third consecutive year to win the double. We’re not hiding our ambitions. We want to win the time trial and the road race. We want to take both jerseys back to Europe with us for our sponsors and our team. As defending champ, Durbo is the man for the time trial. He won a time trial the other day with very good numbers, and we know he’s around the mark. As far as the road race goes, we obviously have a plan, but as long as we get the jersey, we’ll be happy.” – ORICA-GreenEDGE Sport Director Matt White

ORICA-AIS for Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships:

Amanda Spratt (time trial, road race)
Annette Edmondson (criterium)
Carlee Taylor (criterium, road race)
Gracie Elvin (time trial, criterium, road race)
Jessie MacLean (criterium, road race)
Shara Gillow (time trial, road race)

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships:

Cameron Meyer (criterium, road race)
Damien Howson (time trial, road race)
Luke Durbridge (time trial, road race)
Matt Goss (road race)
Mat Hayman (road race)
Michael Hepburn (time trial, road race)
Michael Matthews (time trial, road race)
Mitch Docker (road race)
Simon Clarke (road race)
Simon Gerrans (road race) 

Santos Women’s Cup // January 19-21
race website

Former ORICA-AIS riders Judith Arndt and Alex Rhodes won the second and third days of racing, respectively, at the three-day race series in the team’s first season. Arndt’s efforts earned her the overall victory. The team’s 2013 launch in Canberra conflicted with the race series, and ORICA-AIS was unable to defend Arndt’s title. The team is happy to return to Adelaide this year and have another crack at the series.

What they’re saying about Santos Women’s Cup:

“This series coincides with our team training camp, so it works out really well for us. We’re able to field a nine-rider team, which should give us a numerical advantage. It’s a good race experience with two crits and a road race, and a good opportunity for us to showcase the women’s side of the sport to the wider audience out for the men’s Tour Down Under. I suspect the girls will be pretty motivated to come away with a victory.” – Sport Director Gene Bates

ORICA-AIS for Santos Women’s Cup:  

Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Annette Edmondson (AUS)
Carlee Taylor (AUS)
Gracie Elvin (AUS)
Jessie MacLean (AUS)
Loes Gunnewijk (NED)
Melissa Hoskins (AUS)
Shara Gillow (AUS)
Valentina Scandolara (ITA)

Santos Tour Down Under // January 19-26
race website

Two-time overall winner Simon Gerrans will headline a seven-strong squad for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide. The Victorian secured the ochre leader’s jersey on count-back at the start of the team’s maiden season. When an asthma attack removed Gerrans from general classification contention in 2012, he went after stage wins and scored a big one atop Willunga on Australia Day. Gerrans will head up a dynamic team and enjoy strong support from compatriots Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge, Matt Goss, Mathew Hayman, Michael Matthews and South African Daryl Impey.

What they’re saying about Santos Tour Down Under:

“As an Australian team, this is a very important race for us. We always want to do well at the Tour Down Under. We have a strong team, and everyone is really motivated to bring home some good results in front of our Australian fans. We’re targeting stage wins and focused on the overall. We have a number of options to achieve these goals.” - Sport Director Matt White

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Santos Tour Down Under:

Daryl Impey (RSA)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Matt Goss (AUS)
Mathew Hayman (AUS)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Simon Clarke (AUS)
Simon Gerrans (AUS)

Tour de San Luis // January 20-26
race website

Argentina’s Tour de San Luis offers an increasingly popular early season option for teams looking to take advantage of warm weather and tough terrain. ORICA-GreenEDGE makes its second appearance in South America as the race enters its eighth edition. Last year, Svein Tuft won the individual time trial in San Luis while Leigh Howard sprinted to a podium place on stage three. In 2014, the team will support Aidis Kruopis in the Tour de San Luis sprints.

What they’re saying about Tour de San Luis:

“Tour de San Luis is a great race to the start the season in a little more low key way for some our riders. We’re sending our athletes ten days ahead of the race for a great block of training and racing in South America. This is a nice way for them to warm into the season.

“In terms of goals, this is an important building block for the team. Aidis is chasing results in the sprint stages. He faces stiff competition from the likes of Cavendish, Sagan and Farrar. Aidis has a heavy race schedule during the first half of the season, and this is the start of it. We’ll support him as much as we can.” – Sport Director Matt White

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour de San Luis:

Adam Yates (GBr)
Aidis Kruopis (Ltu)
Christian Meier (Can)
Ivan Santaromita (Ita)
Jens Keukeleire (Bel)
Pieter Weening (Ned)