By Bjorn Haake in Gent
The 2007 Australian Time Trial Champion, Carla Ryan, had been riding for her national team, however, she changed a couple of months ago to join the Cervélo Lifeforce team. Considering her time trial abilities, she is a good fit for the Grande Boucle Féminine in a line-up that includes Kristin Armstrong, Karin Thührig and Christiane Soeder. "So far so good!" described Ryan of her first days with her new team-mates. "I took a break after l'Aude and went back to Australia. Now, I have been back in Switzerland with the team for a few days."
Her mid-year deal will see her with the team until the end of the season. Ryan stated, "We started talking a little bit in the New Zealand tour at the beginning of the season and after Tour de l'Aude we finalised the contract."
Even without a team she felt well prepared. "I raced with the Australian National Team, which has given me a lot of good experience and an opportunity to race in Europe." One thing it didn't prepare her for were the cobbles in Belgium and France, which dot the first stages of the Grande Boucle Féminine. "We had a look at the cobble stone sections, but I haven't done much racing in Belgium and Holland. You can't do anything about, so just go for it!" expressed the Queenslander.
Naturally, Ryan is already looking forward to the time trial, although "I have never done 40 kilometres – that will be a new experience as well. But it should be fun. The course is predominantly flat. With a hill I'd be happier," she stated honestly. However, like with the cobbles, she just takes it as it comes. "I can't do anything about that and I just have to give it my all."
Ryan is confident and is upbeat about the new team. "It's a very exciting opportunity. I am looking forward to working with everyone and being part of the team." She knows well that first and foremost she will fill the role of a domestique. "Being given the opportunity to race here with them I will definitely work for the team. I am more than happy to do whatever is asked of me."