Williams ninth at Sparkassen Giro World Cup

Sun 2 Aug 2015

As predicted the seventh UCI Women’s World Cup, Sparkassen Giro, has finished in a sprint to the line, 2015 GP Cham-Hagendorn winner Lizzie Williams ORICA-AIS’ top finisher in ninth position.

Without a pure sprinter amongst their ranks, ORICA-AIS entered the race with a determination to play it smart and try to force a move to increase their chances of a podium.

Swedish champion Emma Johansson and Santos Women’s Tour winner Valentina Scandolara both rode themselves into some of the many moves throughout the race, but it wasn’t enough to prevent it from being another day from the sprinters.

“The plan was to be aggressive but to be intelligent in the moves we presented in and the girls were really good at that,” sport director Gene Bates said. “Valentina’s move had some really strong bike riders, it was early but it set us up well.”

“There was just too much downhill and flat between each climb to really let get anything get away. Once we got to two laps to go we were resigned that it was likely to be a bunch sprint.

“We wanted to help Lizzie as much as possible in the bunch sprint. She was in a really good position coming into the last kilometre but she got tangled up with Lizzie Armistead who hit the fence and very nearly came down. That rattled her little coming into the final bend.”

How it unfolded:

Known as a sprinter’s World Cup, 153 riders set off for eight laps of a flat 15.5km circuit in Bochum, Germany.

The only rise worthy of a mention was a short push mid lap that taken with speed didn’t look too threatening to the bunch. Some small technical elements were the only hope for a break up in proceedings, whilst a final corner into the finish promised to be crucial in the pending result.

It took until the third lap for the first major move to go – Valentina Scandolara joining two others over the climb to establish a 30seconds advantage. Their lead was short lived, the race back together heading into the fourth lap.

Into the second half of racing, intensity increased, the peloton at one point in three pieces courtesy of Rabobank-Liv on the circuit climb.

Eleven riders made the first group, including ORICA-AIS’ Emma Johansson, and rose to another 30second gap with 35km remaining.

But, again, the move and others to follow were not permitted to disrupt the predicted bunch sprint, which was won by Barbara Guarischi (Velocio SRAM).