Williams claims first professional victory at SwissEver GP Cham-HagendornSun 31 May 2015
Australian Lizzie Williams has claimed her first professional victory, riding to a solo win at the SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn in Switzerland today.
The breakthrough was also the first European victory for ORICA-AIS in 2015 whilst the day was made even more special with Santos Women’s Tour champion Valentina Scandolara winning the bunch sprint for second to make it a 1-2 for the Australian outfit.
“It just feels so good to get a win for the team,” Williams said.
“I guess it’s also a bit of relief. It’s been a rocky first part of the season for me and for the team and after a fantastic training camp this is another big morale boost and I really feel this is the start of a winning roll for our team.”
The 31-year-old’s solo move, with a little over ten kilometres to go, was just one of many attacks by a dominant ORICA-AIS.
“We had someone in every move and we were initiating pretty much every attack and every breakaway,” Williams said.
“I took a moment where I knew there was a sharp corner into a descent with about 12km to go and gave it everything to stay away.
“Once I got over the final climb I knew that the course had only one flat section and the rest was downhill and technical and I knew I could ride that quicker than a large peloton. When I got to the corner I attacked on the previous lap, which was about two kilometres to go, and I couldn’t see the bunch and I knew I had it then.”
ORICA-AIS fielded a reduced five-rider team for the SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn, which consisted of 11laps of a 9.3km circuit.
Despite the intensity at the head of the peloton changing over the opening laps, they entered the fourth lap largely as one group.
As the attacks began, it was ORICA-AIS at the fore. The first attempt was by Alexandra Manly and was followed by further moves from Williams, Scandolara and Amanda Spratt before the successful late launch by Williams.
“That was our general plan going into today,” sport director Gene Bates said. “We knew we had to be aggressive on this course otherwise it was just going to be too easy and we would end up in a bunch sprint.”
“So from mid-way in the race, we wanted to try and set up prominently Lizzie, Valentina or Spratty for either a late move solo or a good breakaway that was in our favour.
“Lizzie has been working really hard for this, as have all the girls. We had a great training camp down in Tuscany and the girls came out of it really motivated and fired up really for these first few races.”
A second ORICA-AIS squad will also race the Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik in Beligum today.