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|Well done, team!|
From: Orica Scott
A challenging few days for ORICA-SCOTT at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour were rewarded today by a stunning ride and victory by Australian Sarah Roy on a wet and windy stage four in England to seal the teams first Women’s WorldTour win of 2017.
Stage four started and finished in Chesterfield in the north and headed out into the rolling countryside for 125kilometres under heavy rain at the start which subsequently subsided after a couple of hours of racing.
Numerous attacks attempted to break clear, but it was the move of Roy that proved to be key. Part of a quartet of riders out front for the final 60kilometres the 31-year-old played it cool even when it looked like the chasing peloton may make the catch Roy persevered and went into the final looking strong.
The group had whittled down to two over the closing Kilometres with Roy and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) holding 35seconds and the sprint up ahead. Roy held back until 300metres to go before unleashing a blistering attack to take the stage win.
“I saw an opportunity when the break was being formed and we immediately started to work well together,” said Roy. “I had a lot of support from the team car on the radio and that information was invaluable. When the bunch started to get closer we adapted and had a secondary plan to go with Alex Manly for the sprint, but Majerus jumped twice and split our group until it was only the two of us left.”
“Marv (sport director Martin Barras) had given me great instruction as we went into the finale and was constantly encouraging me. It wasn’t as technical as previous days, but I made Majerus lead and I started my sprint from around 300metres and created enough of a gap to hold on.
“It feels so good to get our first WorldTour victory, the whole team has been working really hard and we have come very close so many times this season and it’s a big relief to get off the mark. The girls have been wonderful and I’m really happy.”
It was joy and relief all round for the team as Barras went on to explain.
“For the last three days we have been talking about finding solutions for pulling a win out of this race,” said Barras. “We have really tried to make this happen and today was vindication for all our efforts. The break that Roy got into was tenuous and more than once it looked to be teetering on the edge, but full credit to Roy and her breakaway companions for their persistence and ultimately it paid off.”
“It is a great way to win a bike race and just reward for all the hard work that the team has put in and a great example and inspiration for the team for the remainder of the season.”
How it happened:
The rain returned for the start of stage four in Chesterfield as a constant drizzle characterised the opening 40kilometres over the winding Derbyshire lanes and into the picturesque Peak District national park.
Roy again did well for ORICA-SCOTT, part of an three rider move with two minutes on the bunch after 60kilometres of racing and five more riders chasing behind the lead trio.
The chasers included Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) and race leader Niewiadoma and their action led to more groups splintering off the front of the peloton and a significant increase in pace.
The trio out front were joined by Christine Majerus with 45kilometres remaining and began to push their lead back out on the Niewiadoma group.
With 20kilometres to go the Roy quartet was working well together as the Niewiadoma group was absorbed by the peloton with the four leaders now at two minutes 20seconds and looking good.
With the virtual race leader now in the Roy group and two minutes up the road WM3 and Canyon-Sram started to pay attention and began to drive the peloton as the leaders turned back towards Chesterfield and into a headwind.
It turned out to be too little too late as Roy and Majerus took control in the final kilometres and stormed clear.
The pair went on to hold off the field and contest the finale with Roy taking out a spectacular victory in Chesterfields historic centre.
OVO Energy Women’s Tour stage four results:
1. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT) 03:27:48
2. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) +0:01
3. Leah Kirchmann (Team-Sunweb) +0:05
General Classification after stage four:
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3) 15:06:31
2. Christine Majerus (Boel-Dolmans) +1:25
3. Leah Kirchmann (Team-Sunweb)+1:36
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com
From Orica: Sun 21 May 2017
Former Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy sprinted to her first victory of the 2017 season today in SwissEver GP Cham Hagedorn.
ORICA-SCOTT began the day with just three riders but were able to utilise their strengths, biding their time as a breakaway trio animated most of the 112kilometre one-day race.
Thanks to the team’s efforts in the final, the leaders were eventually caught with six kilometres to go leaving Roy in the perfect position to take on the reduced bunch sprint.
“It feels awesome to win,” explained Roy. “Especially when the girls turn themselves inside out for a result. It was my job today to finish it off and that is what really motivated me.”
“When I see my teammates drilling it on the front it gives me more confidence, maybe a few years ago I would feel the pressure of that but now it really helps me.”
Despite only starting with three riders and not all feeling 100 percent healthy, being able to finish the job off and come away with the victory given the circumstances was extra special for Roy.
“It was quite aggressive today from the start and we woke up this morning all a bit under the weather, we weren’t feeling our best, so we had a great aggressive plan last night but woke up this morning and had to reassess,” Roy continued.
“We had to just try to get to the finish, be more conservative and follow moves but half-way through the race we seemed to find our legs.
“Jess Allen and Alex Manly were pretty amazing today. When the trio gained a big advantage it was basically our responsibility to bring it back and the girls really committed.
“We weren’t sure if we would manage it but we did and they did a great lead-out for me in the finish so it feels so amazing to take the win.”
How it happened:
The team headed out ready for their second one-day Swiss race of the weekend. With Rachel Neylan out due to illness, ORICA-SCOTT began with a small team of three riders.
The route covered 112kilometres over 12laps and a trio of riders escaped and opened up a maximum advantage of one-minute and 37seconds.
The time gap continued to yo-yo between 45seconds and one-minute for a lengthy period of time, finally reducing to just 25seconds inside the last 20kilometres.
The pace in the bunch lifted which caused the peloton to spilt into three groups as the front chase group crawled their way back closer to the trio.
ORICA-SCOTT decided to contribute to the chase and the trio’s advantage disintegrated rapidly down to 16seconds as they passed the 10kilometres to go sign.
Finally the trio were reeled in with six kilometres to go, however, the further attacks came in the closing kilometres with two riders gaining a 10second advantage.
In the end it wasn’t enough to survive to the line with ORICA-SCOTT leading the chase despite having limited numbers to deliver Roy perfectly to victory.
SwissEver GP Cham Hagedorn results:
1. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT)
2. Stephanie Pohl (Cervelo-Bigla)
3. Arianna Fidanza (Astana Women’s Team)