Spratt and Scandolara lead ORICA-AIS at Trofeo Binda World CupWed 25 Mar 2015
2015 Santos Women’s Tour champion Valentina Scandolara and 2012 Australian champion Amanda Spratt will lead ORICA-AIS at the second world cup of the season, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, this Sunday.
The Australian outfit starts the Italian race as the defending champions, albeit without last year’s winner Emma Johansson who broke her collarbone racing in Holland ten days ago.
Despite the blow, the team is confident in the preparation and ability of the six-rider lineup, including Spratt who has shown her ability on this course with the fourth place finish two years ago.
“The main riders will be Scandolara and Spratt for this weekend,” sport director Gene Bates said. “They have targeted this race all season so they will be looking to have a good race and they have both been preparing really well.”
“Loosing Emma (Johansson) to her broken collarbone is really unfortunate, but sometimes it offers good opportunities for other riders to really step up and fill that gap.
“I think a top five result for either Valentina or Amanda would be a very very good result. Anywhere between top five and top ten is a satisfying result depending on how the race is played out.”
Sunday will be the first race in two weeks for ORICA-AIS with a break in the racing program allowing the team, which also includes 2013 and 2014 Australian champion Gracie Elvin, Oceania time trial champion Katrin Garfoot, Oceania road race silver medalist Lizzie Williams and new recruit Rachel Neylan, to specifically prepare for the world cup event.
“Preparation has gone really well,” Bates said.
“Obviously there has been a gap in the racing from the start of the year and we have been able to get everyone in over that time to get some really good work done around the course.”
The Trofeo Alfredo Binda leaves from Laveno on Lake Maggiore and travels directly towards the finish town of Cittiglio where the peloton will complete one large 37.7km circuit followed by five laps of a smaller 17.1km finishing circuit.
“The initial larger lap is quite difficult,” Bates said. “There are some nasty climbs to start with that really catch people out.”
“You can’t win the race there but you can certainly lose the race there.
“Each year you really see the group dwindle down on that large circuit before we get to the final short circuit to repeat five times. Then that final circuit is obviously where your winner comes from.”
ORICA-AIS at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup (Sunday, 29 March):