Orica-AIS team presented at the Australian Institute of Sport
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Orica-AIS team presented at the Australian Institute of Sport

by Ben Atkins at 1:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Australian team looking for even more success after strong debut season

orica-aisThe Orica-AIS women’s team was presented to the World at the Australian Institute of Sport yesterday. The ten-rider line up, which sits third in the International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings, based - mostly - on the results of 2012, has undergone a number of changes from last year. After a highly successful debut season, however, the team - which is sister to men’s WorldTour outfit Orica-GreenEdge - hopes for even better in 2013.

“When we announced Australia’s Winning Edge late last year we set some ambitious but achievable targets for Australia’s international performance in world championships, Olympics, Paralympics, and Commonwealth Games,” said AIS Director Matt Favier.

“We expect that both track and road cycling will make a significant contribution to achieving those goals and the ORICA- AIS team will play a leading role in supporting our very best cyclists.

“The squad is currently here in camp at the AIS working with our sports scientists and other support staff to ensure the best possible preparation prior to the start of the 2013 season in the Tour of Qatar,” Favier added.

The 2013 team holds on to its Australian core from last year, consisting of reigning three-time national time trial champion Shara Gillow, 2012 national road race champion Amanda Spratt, Giro d’Italia stage winner Tiffany Cromwell, Tour of Chongming Island winner Melissa Hoskins, and rouleur/sprinter Jessie MacLean.

The team’s two top performing riders of 2012 have both left the team, with German World time trial champion and Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Judith Arndt hanging up her wheels, and Danish-born New Zealander Linda Villumsen choosing to take a temporary step down from the sport’s elite level as she looks towards the Rio Olympics of 2016. These two have been replaced by Swedish champion Emma Johansson, who hopes that the big-team environment - after spending years as the big name in smaller teams - will help her take the next step in her already successful career.

The other riders to move on are Australians Rowena Fry and Alex Rhodes, who have both retired from the sport, and German Claudia Häusler, who joins American Team Tibco-To The Top.

Coming into the team for 2013 are Australians Annette “Netty” Edmondson - the Olympic Omnium bronze medallist, and newly crowned national champion Gracie Elvin, who spent the second half of last year with the Faren-Honda team. South Korean Sung Eun Gu becomes the team’s third non-Australian rider, along with Johansson and Dutchwoman Loes Gunnewijk.

“The international cyclists on our team are truly world class. Each brings unique expertise to the team that will be shared with our top Australian cyclists,” said the team’s head cycling coach Martin Barras. "I believe that the composition of this team is well balanced giving us great tactical versatility for the races.”

ORICA-GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan confirmed the organisation was extremely proud of the women’s team project.

“The women's team had a dream debut last year and everything looks to be set up for another great year,” he said. “We're really keen to be part of developing the talented Australian riders and having them next to some of the most experienced international athletes is a great asset."

Although many of its riders have already seen action in 2013, racing in the Australian summer and national championships, the team will make its international debut in the four-day Ladies Tour of Qatar between January 29th and February 1st.

Orica-AIS team 2013
Tiffany Cromwell (Aus), Annette Edmondson (Aus), Gracie Elvin (Aus), Shara Gillow (Aus), Sung Eun Gu (Kor), Loes Gunnewijk (Ned), Melissa Hoskins (Aus), Emma Johansson (Swe), Jessie MacLean (Aus) and Amanda Spratt (Aus)


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