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)