Former Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy showed her speed today to place second in the UCI 1.2 category race, Keukens van Lommel Ladies Classic.
The race finished with a close bunch sprint which saw former world champion Marianna Vos (Rabo-Liv) back to her winning ways stealing the victory ahead of Roy.
Sport director Gene Bates praised the efforts of the small team, covering moves and delivering Roy onto the podium.
“The girls all raced really well today,” Bates explained. “They were aggressive, it was a super quick circuit and looked like it would end in a bunch sprint even from half way into the race.”
“The riders were committed to leading out Roy and they did a really great job. We had the whole team on the front for the last couple of kilometres, and they really backed her.
“We still have few things we can iron out in the future in terms of the leadout and the order but when you have someone who is going fast like Roy is it makes it easy for the girls to work for her.
“We only had four girls today as some of the team are resting up after racing a lot already and with the tours coming up.
“The last few races wee’ve done we have been on the podium in them all so the team is super motivated at the moment and everyone is showing fantastic form.”
How it happened:
Keukens van Lommel marked round six of the Lotto Cycling cup taking place in Herselt. The 116kilometre race, a typical Belgium race featured two larger opening laps of 29.9kilometres, six laps of 6.9kilometres followed by one four kilometre finishing circuit.
With ORICA-AIS starting the race with a small team of four riders, it was an important for the team to race tactically well against the other larger squads.
A strong move of six riders formed including race favourites and Rowney for ORICA-AIS. Despite being a move that looked like it could stay away, it appeared too early in the race and the eager peloton quickly reeled them back in.
Immediately a flurry of attacks came with ORICA-AIS riding tactically well to follow most of the moves despite only having four riders.
A trio of riders countered an attack and managed to establish a lead. The three riders consisted of one rider from each key team on the race with Kelly Druyts (Topsport-Vlaanderen), Rozanne Slik (Rabo-Liv) and Jeanne Korevaar (Liv-Plantur).
Riding out to a sizeable advantage the trio spent most of the day out front, with the race coming down to the final finishing laps before the escapees were eventually reeled back in. ORICA-AIS thankful that the bunch was all back together headed to the front as further attacks came.
With three kilometres remaining Rabo-Liv sent one rider up the road in a last attempt. Behind, the ORICA-AIS quadruplet set the tempo to chase her back and set the sprint up for Roy.
In a close finish it was Vos who showed herself to be the fastest, with Roy sprinting strongly but having to settle for second place after a great team effort from a small four rider ORICA-AIS line up.
Keukens van Lommel results:
1. Marianna Vos (Rabo-LIv) 3:02:33
2. Sarah Roy (ORICA-AIS) ST
3. Sara Mustonen (LIv-Plantur) ST