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Nettie Edmondson: “Sharing the opportunities” in Race Melbourne and Cadel Evans’ Race

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling starts Thursday’s Towards Zero Race Melbourne and Saturday’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with several options in an ambitious five-rider team. The black and orange squad will be led by Australian’s Amy Cure and Nettie Edmondson, alongside Italian Scratch Race World Champion Rachele Barbieri. The three sprinters will be supported by French Time Trial Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Japanese Champion Eri Yonamine in Thursday’s criterium, who will then take their own chances on Saturday.

“I’m really looking forward to kicking things off tomorrow,” Cure said. “I’m excited for the criterium, I think it’ll be really good and I think we’ve got a good chance together, and a chance of winning the race. So I’m really looking forward to it and giving it everything.

“The other day we did some course recon for the road race and I’m pumped to help out the team, and I think we’ve got a really good team here and I think Audrey and Eri can do some really good results here!”

Rachele Barbieri is looking to capitalise on the skills that made her a World Champion on the track at the age of 20 in Race Melbourne.  The Italian rider finished seventh in last year’s event, around Albert Park, in the centre of the Victorian capital, having already led out teammate Kirsten Wild for the victory.

“Last year even in this criterium I helped Kirsten to win and I still managed to get a good result!” Barbieri smiled.

“I really like the criterium, they are races very similar to those on the track so they are perfect for my characteristics,” she added. “The level is always high but if my team should give me the opportunity to do the race on me I would definitely do my best to finish a good team work!

“Nettie has proven to be very strong in this moment and therefore if the tactics of the race will be to race for her I will still be very happy to do it.”

Edmondson finished fourth in the chaotic finish of last year’s Race Melbourne, and took eleventh in the much hillier “Cadel’s Race” as she stayed with the front half of the peloton. Victory in the opening stage of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, and third place in the final stage, gives the Adelaidean confidence ahead of both races.

“Cadel’s Race is really cool because it gives opportunities to both sprinters and hill climbers. We’ve got the Race Melbourne tomorrow and that’s a short, fast circuit but it’s actually quite solid if it’s windy and can get a little bit strung out and it can get a bit messy coming into the finish, like last year. But if we all ride well together as a team and keep protected we can do a  good job.

“We’ve got three sprinters out there so we’ve got a lot of options, so we’ll be looking to take out the win tomorrow.

“On Saturday we have the road race,” Edmondson continued. “Audrey Cordon-Ragot had a good chance to test the legs in the Tour Down Under, and she’s over the jet lag now, so I think she could have a really good race. She’s climbing really strongly now so I think we’ll be looking to protect her the most.

“I finished with a top ten last year and it can come to a small bunch kick, and I think we’ve got Amy – who’s climbing really well and is quite good at the sprints – so I think this could also suit her and Eri as breakaway riders.

“So it should be a good couple of days riding and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in. Looking forward to sharing the opportunities among the riders!”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for Towards Zero Race Melbourne
Rachele Barbieri (Italy), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Amy Cure (Australia), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Eri Yonamine (Japan)

 

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