From Orica Scott: Sat 20 May 2017
Australian criterium champion Jess Allen and former champion Sarah Roy finished second and third today in the one-day race Tour de Berner.
Whist the rest of the ORICA-SCOTT women’s team race in the Basque Country a small but powerful Australian outfit tested their legs in the 102kilometre Swiss event.
Allen successfully broke away with Stephanie Pohl (Cervelo-Bigla) with around 50kilometres to go, however, Pohl was able distance Allen on the tough Frienisberg climb and went on to steal the race victory.
The 24-year-old Australian held off the chasing bunch to take a well fought out second place whist sprinter Roy won the bunch kick to make it two ORICA-SCOTT riders on the podium with Alex Manly also finishing highly in fifth place.
“The goal was to obviously win but I stuffed up a little bit,” Allen explained. “Pohl attacked on the second lap and I bridged across after the climb but then on the final time up the climb, around 25kilometres to go she got away again.”
“We planned to be quite conservative until one lap to go but Cervelo-Bigla were the team with the most numbers and they started attacking already on the second of three laps, so we had to play our cards a bit earlier than we ideally wanted to.
“We didn’t get the win today but we had all three riders in the top five and tomorrow we race again so we have another chance to go for the victory.”
How it happened:
The riders headed to the start line ready for the 102kilometre National race, under sunny blue skies and with a fairly small field of competitors.
The race covered three laps of a challenging circuit which featured the Frienisberg climb each lap which as expected, proved to be the defining sector of the race, with the final three kilometres averaging out around ten percent.
Allen was part of the main breakaway of the day, successfully riding away from the bunch with a Cervelo-Bigla rider on the penultimate lap.
The duo opened up an advantage of one-minute before Pohl put the pressure on over the final ascent of the Frienisberg climb, which consquently proved a little too much for Allen who was left to time trial solo to the finish line.
Pohl took the race victory as Allen battled on to claim second place with Roy taking the bunch kick for third and Alex Manly placing fifth.
Tomorrow the team line-up in another one-day race, SwissEver GP Cham Hagedorn.
Tour de Berner results:
1. Stephanie Pohl (Cervelo-Bigla)
2. Jess Allen (ORICA-SCOTT)
3. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT)