After a busy period of racing, Mitchelton-SCOTT women are ready for the final phase of the 2020 season, the cobble Classics, starting at Brabantse Pijl this Wednesday with a mixed and opportunistic team.
Fresh from her second place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a motivated Grace Brown will be joined by a strong team as Australian’s Sarah Roy and Gracie Elvin line-up in their preferred style of racing along with compatriot Jess Allen, Dutch rider Janneke Ensing and young Brit Jess Roberts.
The mid-week race is bookended by Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Gent-Wevelgem and acts as a transitional race from the Ardennes Classics to the Belgian cobble Classic races.
The 121km parcourse has a total of 19 climbs to tackle, but with mostly low gradients, it has seen the race finish in a reduce bunch sprint the past years with 2020 only the fifth ever edition of the race for women.
Mitchelton-SCOTT’s best result in the event was back in 2018 when former rider Jolien d’Hoore sprinted to fourth place behind Marta Bastianelli. In other editions the team has finished outside of the top-10.
“I think Brabantse will be a great race for us as a team. There’s some of us ready to use this one to find our race legs ahead of the coming races like Flanders and then there’s the other riders like Grace that already have them and will be taking every opportunity.
“This race has ended in a sprint the last couple of years and if that’s the case this year I’m really keen to get amongst it. I have been anticipating these races all year, like many people I’ve had a rocky path to this point navigating a number of challenges as a result of COVID and the continued rehab from the extensive surgery I had last September, but I’m really looking forward to these Belgian Cobble Classics. I’m feeling really optimistic.”
Alejandro Gonzales – Sport Director
“We would like to use this race as the opening for the cobble Classics. It is a good chance for the team to get the feeling again for riding on the cobbles and in the wind, and it will be the first time back in Belgium since the season re-start for half of the team lining-up.
“It is quite an open race; so we can try to race smart and take any opportunities and we have a good mix of riders.”
Brabantse Pijl Women’s Race Details:
Wednesday, 7th October: Vlaams Brabant – Schavei, 121.5km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images