Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes: Van Vleuten looking to convert run of second places to a first
Mitchelton-Scott field full-strength squad for Belgian one-day race
Mitchelton-Scott head to Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes on Sunday hoping that they can turn a recent string of second places for Annemiek van Vleuten into a victory at the Belgian one-day race.
Van Vleuten finished second to world road race champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, following on from second place at Amstel Gold last weekend, and the runner's-up spot at the Tour of Flanders earlier this month.
"It was another strong team effort from all the girls at Flèche, just like it was at Amstel, so that gives me even more confidence and the feeling that we can win this Sunday," Van Vleuten said on her team's website.
"I think that Liège is a race that suits us the best out of the three Ardennes races, especially the climbs. They suit my style more than the explosive efforts you have to do on climbs like the Mur de Huy [at Flèche].
"It would be super to finish off a strong classics campaign with a victory. I think this is our strongest spring ever," said Van Vleuten, who won Strade Bianche in March, "so to end it with a win at Liège would be perfect."
Amanda Spratt, meanwhile, finished second at last year's Liège – again, to Van der Breggen – and so commands equal billing with Van Vleuten for Sunday, and they're also joined by climber Lucy Kennedy, who makes it a three-pronged attack for the Australian team, which also fields Sarah Roy, Jess Allen and Moniek Tenniglo in support roles.
"I'm feeling excited and motivated ahead of Sunday," Kennedy said. "After a personally disappointing race at Amstel Gold, I was much happier with my work for the team at Flèche, and I feel like my race form is improving.
"The feeling amongst the team is really positive," she continued. "We're working very well together to use everyone's strengths and the results reinforce this.
"To finish with a win on Sunday would be a just reward, and a perfect way to celebrate what has been a positive and successful spring campaign," said Kennedy, whose words were echoed by sports director Martin Vestby.
"We've had a really strong spring classics campiagn and we'll be going all out to try and finish it off with a win on Sunday," he said.
"Liège is another opportunity for Annemiek and ‘Spratty', but also for Lucy, who did a great job at Flèche Wallonne, along with the rest of the team.
"On this type of course, I think the longer climbs will suit our strengths even better. We'll have to look at how we're going to play our cards, but we have three really strong climbers and, if we play it well, we can win from different scenarios," said Vestby.
Mitchelton-Scott for the 2019 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes: Jess Allen, Lucy Kennedy, Sarah Roy, Amanda Spratt, Moniek Tenniglo, Annemiek van Vleuten
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