Two in top ten at Festival Elsy Jacobs prologueFri 1 May 2015
ORICA-AIS has finished with Katrin Garfoot and Lizzie Williams in the top ten of the opening 5.6km time trial at Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg this evening.
Garfoot and Williams finished eighth and ninth respectively, stopping the clock 16 and 17seconds adrift of the winning time - eight minutes 13seconds posted by Anna Van der Breggen (Rabobank – Liv).
The short race against the clock was characterised by a climb in the opening kilometre, a feature sport director Gene Bates identified pre-race as telling.
“The climb really was crucial for the time trial today,” Bates said. “It was by far the most important part of the course and if you lost time there, there really wasn’t anywhere to make it up later on.”
“The riders knew that and they were all told to attack the climb as hard as they possibly could and leave nothing for the latter part of the course.”
Bates was pleased to conclude the day with two riders in the top ten, including the surprise ride by Williams who is in her first season for the ORICA-AIS outfit.
“Kat had a great ride,” Bates said. “When she rode, it was pouring down with rain, as it was for most of the other riders, but she really left nothing in the tank and was able to produce that ride so I think it’s a good sign of things to come over the weekend.”
“And it was an exceptional result for Lizzie. We didn’t see that coming and I don’t think she did either.
“She really hit the climb hard to make the most of it and then made some errors later on in the course that she thought would have cost her a fair bit but it turned out to be a really good time and a top ten.”
There were mixed emotions for the rest of the team, Swedish champion Emma Johansson (19th), track world champion Melissa Hoskins (20th) and Amanda Spratt (21st) all posting good results, despite some drama.
“It was a bit of a disappointing day for Emma,” Bates said. “She had a great start to the race and then had a mechanical right at the top of the climb which cost her a fair bit of time.”
“To still finish top 20 is a really good result but she will be disappointed and be really looking to make amends for it tomorrow.
“Mel and Amanda had good rides. Mel on a hard course really hard to push deep to do that and for Spratty I think it’s just another indication of where her form is at the moment, she’s really going well.”
The Festival Elsy Jacobs continues tomorrow with the first of two road stages, a short 102.6km journey with a tough finishing circuit featuring two climbs.