Garfoot aims for more cycling success
Australian cyclist Katrin Garfoot should be racing in her first Giro Rosa for the experience.
Just three years after the 32-year-old started racing, the German-born rider’s speedy progression has Orica-AIS team manager Gene Bates predicting no limits to what Garfoot might achieve in the race.
The July 4-13 stage race starts with a prologue time trial in Caserta, near Naples, and is the only grand tour for women’s cycling.
Garfoot is the wildcard for Orica-AIS, whose best chances for a big overall result are most likely Swiss ace Emma Johansson and Australian time trial specialist Shara Gillow.
“There’s a little bit of unknown going in with Garfoot,” Bates said in a team statement.
“I’m not even sure she is aware of the depth of her capabilities.
“I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we see her right in the thick of the overall action in the last few days.”
Garfoot only joined Orica-AIS in June and has also made the Australian road team for the Commonwealth Games.
She secured her Giro Rosa start on June 21 with eighth in the Giro del Trentino.
Orica-AIS are the women’s team in the Orica-GreenEDGE organisation and, like their male counterparts, have enjoyed plenty of success since their 2012 debut.
But Orica-AIS are yet to manage an overall podium finish in the Giro Rosa, which is the women’s version of the Giro d’Italia.
Johansson was fifth in 2012 and Gillow finished fourth in 2013.
Bates said their eight-rider team would aim for stage wins and the overall title.
“Everyone in the whole team has been building up some great form and we have seen that on display at the last couple of races,” he said.
“We certainly will give freedom to everyone to show their hand in search of a big result.”
Melissa Hoskins, the team’s designated sprinter for this race, will also ride on the road and track at the Commonwealth Games.
Fellow Australian Amanda Spratt will ride at the Giro Rosa after recovering from the broken collarbone she suffered in April.
Dutch rider Loes Gunnewijk will be the on-road captain, and Italian Valentina Scandolara and Australian Jessie MacLean round out their team.