Australia has announced the four women who will wear green and gold in the road cycling events in the Rio Olympics next month: Gracie Elvin, Katrin Garfoot, Rachel Neylan, and Amanda Spratt. The four will aim for medals in both the road race and the time trial. All four ride for the Orica-AIS team.
Garfoot, who finished fourth in the Worlds time trial last fall, will ride the time trial, as well as the road race. The women's road race takes place on August 7, and the time trial on August 10.
"I believe we have a strong, smart and committed team capable of a medal if we race with smart tactics," said Neylan. “Our time trial specialist Katrin Garfoot has proven ability to compete for a medal, the course is well suited to her strengths and her preparation so far has been outstandingly professional.”
Spratt, Elvin, and Neylan are all making their Olympic debuts. "Words can't adequately describe the feeling of ultimate deep happiness and pride I have at the moment, not to mention the enormous smile on my face," Neylan said.
She, Spratt and Garfoot have already tested the hilly Rio course.
"The course is very challenging, it has a unique variety of elements including flat exposed sections, a cobblestone section, steep short climbs and a long steep climb the combination of which will test many abilities. The standout feature is the large amount of total altitude metres and the 130km length."
Spratt has won the national road race and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this year. Neylan was third and second in those events, respectively, and also won the Grand Prix de Plumelec – Morbihan. Elvin won the Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik and the Mitchelton Bay Classic, while Garfoot can claim both the national time trial title as well as the overall win in the Santos Women's Tour.