There was no stopping Australian team Jayco-AlUla last year at the Thüringen Ladies Tour as it swept up five of the six stages as well as the general classification victory with Alex Manly and now it is again firmly focussed on the overall again as it continues to pursue a first European victory of the season.
Manly, however, won’t be on the squad to defend her title, with Ruby Roseman-Gannon the team’s supported rider. The 24-year-old in fact started the race in that position in 2022 as well, however after seeing how well her teammate was going decided it was best if she led out Manly for the stage 1 sprint instead. With a lead and clear form Manly then became the obvious choice to spearhead the team’s GC charge, ultimately winning with a lead of 33 seconds to Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT).
“In the past the race has come down to small margins and we know bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints and at the finish line can decide the race, so all the team will need to be attentive throughout the stages and look to control and follow dangerous moves,” said Jayco-AlUla sports director, Martin Vestby.
“Ruby will be our rider for the GC and she will be supported by a strong group who are either coming in after racing in Spain or from a good training block, so everyone is ready to go.”
The team and Roseman-Gannon, however, will face considerably different circumstances in 2023, so the benchmark for success at the six-stage tour – which accounted for nearly half the team’s 2022 season victory tally – can hardly be the same.
For a start the field looks considerably different. The Australian team was the only Women’s WorldTour squad on the start line for the 2.Pro ranked tour last year, however in 2023 it will be one of five taking on the May 23 -28 event. That list of team also includes top ranked team SD Worx, who will be turning up with the formidable combination of Lorena Wiebes and Lotte Kopecky.
On top of that it is an altered course, however that does bring some potential benefits for Jayco-AlUla.
“Compared to last year, it looks like there’s a bit more climbing and the addition of a team time trial for the first stage,” said Roseman-Gannon, who was part of the team time trial squad which came second on the opening stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta in 2022.
“I think we have a super strong team for the TTT and I’m really excited to race it. The 9km course has some steep 1km climbs at the start and a fast finish so…
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