CYCLING – ROAD: The four women who will aim to tame the tough roads of Rio have been selected for the 2016 Olympic Games.
The team features three Olympic debutants in Gracie Elvin, Katrin Garfoot and Rachel Neylan, as well as London 2012 Olympian Amanda Spratt.
Canberran Gracie Elvin has raced in 12 World Cups and two World Championships in cross country mountain biking. However she will line up for the cycling road race in Rio when she makes her Olympic debut in 2016. Read more…
Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin thrived in the wet British conditions today, sprinting to fourth place on stage two of the Aviva Women’s Tour.
Heavy rain and steep climbs, much harder than anticipated, made for a difficult day in the saddle with the peloton splitting significantly on the final Queen of the mountain, with Elvin and Amanda Spratt present for ORICA-AIS. Read more…
Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin has taken a consecutive win in Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik, a UCI 1.1 category race.
Starting the race as the defending champion after her courageous win one year ago, Elvin was able handle the added pressure today to successfully defend her title in Gooik after a spectacular performance from the whole ORICA-AIS team.
“We were really in control the whole race today,” said Elvin after her victory. “It was great for us to have so many cards to play and then actually finish it off.” Read more…
Former Ronde van Vlannderen winner Annemiek Van Vleuten produced a fantastic time trial and constant results throughout the five-day Energiewatch Tour to finish in second place on the general classification.
27-year-old Gracie Elvin sprinted to 11th place on the final day of racing behind stage winner Kirsten Wild (Hitec-Products).
Sport director Gene Bates praised the riders efforts throughout the race and although ORICA-AIS weren’t able to pull off a stage victory, their consistency in all of the early season racing has shown their top form and determination. Read more…
ORICA-AIS stayed out of trouble today to remain in general classification contention after stage three of the Energiewacht Tour.
A day with fairer weather and the absence of strong winds saw a breakaway of six riders open up a lead in the early stages of the race. They successfully stayed away until the finish line with Allie Dragoo (USA Cycling) taking the victory after attacking her breakaway companions in the closing kilometres.
Sport director Gene Bates was happy the team finished with no problems and the time trial riders could have an easier day before tomorrow’s big focus.
“Nothing really changed today,” explained Bates. “There was no wind at all so on a flat, non-technical course it’s difficult to do anything.”
“With the time trial tomorrow it was good for the three time trial riders in the team. They were able to have an easy ride on what was the longest stage and save a bit for tomorrow. All the girls got through without any hiccups and Annemiek van Vleuten and Gracie Elvin remain up there on the general classification.” Read more…
Former Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Annemiek van Vleuten sprinted to fourth place today from a breakaway of seven riders on stage two of Energiewacht Tour.
ORICA-AIS riders Gracie Elvin and Van Vleuten used their experience and love for Dutch racing to successfully make the day’s breakaway, which established within the first 15kilometres of the stage.
The wind played a huge factor splitting up the field right from the start, eventually coming down to a select group sprinting for the victory into Winsum. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) got the better of the leaders to take the win.
“It was brutal today,” explained sport director Gene Bates. “We knew the wind direction, we knew it was going to be a tough stage before the start, and straight after the neutral section the race was blown to smitherines.”
“We had Gracie and Annemiek represented in the front group of 15 riders. It would have been nice to have some more from ORICA-AIS in there but realistically it was such a hard start with the wind. Read more…
Stage four of the Energiewacht Tour was split into two stages, a short road race in the morning followed by an individual time trial later in the afternoon. ORICA-AIS had solid rides to finish in the top five on both stages.
During the morning’s road stage former Australian champion Gracie Elvin had a strong sprint to finish in fourth place in the bunch kick. In the afternoon’s time trial event ORICA-AIS dominated after impressive rides from Annemiek Van Vleuten, Tayler Wiles and Katrin Garfoot, holding the top three podium spots right until the final moment. Read more…
ORICA-AIS showcased their team time trial abilities this evening by blasting around the 11.3km course to finish third on stage one of the Energiewacht Tour.
The Australian outfit stopped the clock in a time of 14minutes 30seconds, just one second shy of second place set by the Canyon-SRAM racing team. Boels-Dolmans took the race honours finishing with a time of 14minutes nine seconds.
Today’s stage marked the first team time trial race of the 2016 season and sport director Gene Bates was pleased with how the girls performed, having lined up without any specific team time trial preparation.
“The girls rode really great considering they’ve had no preparation at all except from racing in the classics,” Bates said. “They did their first team time trial session this morning and they gelled really well together, so we are all pleased with tonight’s performance.”
“It was raining right up until 15minutes before we started so the roads were still really wet and it was quite technical the start and the finish of the course. Read more…
Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin continued her impressive display of form at Drentse Acht van Westerveld today, making the winning move to eventually finish in seventh position.
The performance backed up that of yesterday, which saw the 27-year-old ride herself into second place at Ronde van Drenthe and stand as the first Australian on a UCI Women’s WorldTour podium.
Sport director Gene Bates praised yet another solid performance by Elvin.
“It all just seems to have clicked for Gracie,” Bates said. “She is in great physical shape but she knows where to place herself at the right times in races.”
“She is making the front splits and the real front splits when it matters and full credit to her, she has put a lot of work into it and it is really paying off.” Read more…
Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin showed her early season form today by finishing second in the WorldTour race Ronde van Drenthe.
Elvin successfully achieved the first podium for ORICA-AIS in their 2016 European campaign and the first for an Australian rider in the newly formed UCI Women’s WorldTour. Ahead, Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) took the race victory from a four rider breakaway.
“I felt really good today,” explained Elvin. “I just had to look after myself for the first half, there was a lot of headwind so the bunch was all together but began to split on the harder cobble sections as expected.”
“I was always in the front trying to be in a good position, then after the final cobble section myself and two other riders rolled off the front. Trixi Worrack came across to us quickly and we started working straight away forcing a gap.” Read more…
In a perfect day on the road, ORICA-AIS has walked away from the final day of racing at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic with the stage win, overall title and team classification.
An impressive performance saw 2015 SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn Lizzie Williams ride breakaway companion Julie Leth (Ale Cycling) off her wheel with three laps remaining to win solo.
Behind, two-time Australian champion and day one winner Gracie Elvin secured her yellow jersey and the overall title with a fifth placed finish out of the bunch.
ORICA-AIS has started 2016 firing, claiming a one-two result at the opening Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic criterium in Geelong this evening.
The Australian outfit tackled the 750m hotdog circuit, known for its brutal corners, from the front as a host of attackattempts went unsuccessful courtesy of an attentive peloton.
The diminished field entered the final three laps together as ORICA-AIS formed their sprint train at the head of the field with two laps to race.
Bursting out of the last corner from her lead out position, two-time Australian champion Gracie Elvin proved too strong into a headwind and held on for victory. Teammate Lizzie Williams crossed the line closely behind to give ORICA-AIS the perfect start to 2016.