Alena Amialiusik from CANYON//SRAM Racing will return to Grácia Orlová in Czech Republic to defend her general classification win of 2015. The Belarusian national champion is looking forward to returning to what she refers to as almost a home race.
In 2015 Amialiusik had a clean sweep of the jerseys winning overall, mountain and points classifications.”Oh yes!! I’m really looking forward to racing in Czech Republic. Of course it’s not my home in Belarus but it is close and I always feel nice here in these surroundings,” said Amialiusik.
The four day stage race is based around the city of Orlová. The five stages include a 13.5km individual time trial, one hilltop finish, two mountain stages and a final circuit stage. “Last year I won the first stage and kept the jersey every day throughout. I’m expecting it will be a hard race but I have a really strong group around me so I am confident that as a team we will have an exciting few days. I think that some of my team mates won’t like the climbs as much as me! But I also don’t like the flat dutch races and crazy bunch sprints like they do. So it’s a time they can feel a little of my pain” laughed Amialiusik.
CANYON//SRAM Racing Directeur Sportif Beth Duryea says the stage race fits ideally into the team’s racing program. “After many of the riders have had a hard spring campaign it’s nice to finish with a hilly stage race such as this. Riders can go into a small break in May with another stage race in their legs. With another time trial and the mountain climbs, the Grácia Orlová tour offers everything we look for in a stage race at this time of year. The team’s successful weekend (two wins in Borsele and a second in Dwars door de Westhoek) has been building for the past weeks and I’m not surprised at all that they raced so well. I’m looking forward to seeing the riders continue this form over the tour.”
Amialiusik will be joined by Elena Cecchini, Hannah Barnes, Barbara Guarischi and Mieke Kröger to complete a strong team for CANYON//SRAM Racing.