Mitchelton-Scott squad packed with talent for women's Tour de Yorkshire

'We can give more riders opportunities at a race like this' says DS Martin Vestby

Mitchelton-Scott will send a strong team to compete at this week's two-day women's Tour de Yorkshire (May 3-4), which includes Amanda Spratt, Gracie Elvin and recent Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Annemiek van Vleuten.

The six-rider squad for Yorkshire is virtually unchanged for the race compared to the team that helped deliver Van Vleuten to victory at Liège last weekend, with the only substitute being Elvin coming in for Jess Allen.

While Van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt once again feature, and could both well be in with a chance of stage wins or the overall victory, the hierarchy is set to be decided out on the road, with every member of the squad in with a chance of taking a win.

It will be the team's first time racing at the Tour de Yorkshire, although Sarah Roy's no stranger to British roads, having twice won stages at the Ovo Energy Women's Tour, and it's a race that Elvin says she's motivated for, and looking forward to.

"As a team, we've been performing well all season, and the recent success with the Ardennes races to close the Classics season has given everyone even more confidence and boosted the team morale," said Elvin on her team's website.

"I think Yorkshire will be a good race coming after the Ardennes, as it looks to have similar hilly profiles, with chances of reduced-bunch finishes. I think we're all able to perform well there, and it will be a good opportunity for everyone to get a feel for what the Worlds course will be like, too," she said, referring to the Harrogate course that will be used foe the UCI Road World Championships in September.

"I've just had a short break and I'm feeling refreshed and motivated again, and I'm ready to tackle this next part of the season. I've not done the Tour de Yorkshire before, so it's always nice to do a new race when you're an experienced rider," said Elvin.

Sports director Martin Vestby echoed the sentiment that every rider on the squad will have an opportunity to go for victory, with the pressure having been somewhat lifted following Van Vleuten's recent Liege win.

"The atmosphere on the team is really good," he said. "It's easy when everyone is riding so well and together as a team, so I think we can go into Yorkshire a bit more relaxed with not as much pressure after the Classics.

"The first stage looks not to be so hard, and it looks like it will come down to a sprint finish – or maybe a reduced-bunch sprint, depending on how hard the day is raced," continued Vestby. "Then the second stage has some really testing climbs in it, so I think it opens up the race for different riders and different scenarios.

"There's been a lot of hard focus on Annemiek and 'Spratty' in the last few weeks, but now we can give more riders opportunities in a race like this. We want to keep the race open and see how it unfolds on the road, and we have lots of options depending on what happens on both days."

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