The Orica-Scott Women's team will field an all-Australian squad for the 16th edition of the GP de Plouay Saturday. The team has twice previously finished on the podium with Tiff Cromwell and Emma Johansson and is aiming for repeat success in Brittany.
"We are nearing the end of the season and as usual at this time of year, the bunch is a funny place to be. Some riders have already checked out and switched off, some are struggling to hold on to their form and others are starting to peak for the World Championships in September," sports director Gene Bates said. "All of the above contributes significantly to making the racing totally unpredictable. Nevertheless we have a strong team for this race, capable of delivering a podium and versatile because we have more than one option to try and achieve this."
While former Women's WorldTour leader Annemiek van Vleuten and Katrin Garfoot are missing from the squad, Gracie Elvin, Amanda Spratt and Sarah Roy all provide avenues to victory. Rachel Neylan, Jessica Allen, and Jenelle Crooks round out the squad and add further depth to the team's goals.
"We have riders like Gracie, Rachel and Jenelle coming straight from the Tour of Norway and others coming out of a solid block of training. It is a very honest and fast course and you need to be strong and patient in the final if you want to succeed," Bates added. "I think we have a good spread of talent within the team, we can create opportunities from almost any race scenario and we are really excited to see what we can do this weekend in France."
The 121.5km course starts and finishes in Plouay with Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana) the defending champion.
Orica-Scott Women for 2017 GP de Plouay: Jessica Allen, Jenelle Crooks, Gracie Elvin, Rachel Neylan, Sarah Roy and Amanda Spratt.