• Gracie Elvin on the podium after her first European victory (Wiggle Honda)Source: Wiggle Honda
It was a Sunday of double success for Orica-AIS with Australian riders Gracie Elvin and Lizzie Williams both finding the top step of the podium in Europe.
Cycling Central

1 Jun 2015 - 7:25 AM  UPDATED 1 Jun 2015 - 8:38 AM

Former Australian champion Elvin claimed her first European victory at Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik. Elvin out-sprinted fellow escapees Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) and Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) for the spoils.

“I really wanted to test myself, especially since I knew the parcours suited me well: the Belgian roads and small climbs and few cobbles, I ride well with hard conditions," said Elvin.

“My legs didn’t feel too great today, but I just kept making myself go for it and stay with the group and try and make good decisions. I just kept telling myself all day that I just had to keep going. When I attacked, it was during a good moment. When I managed to stay away with Ellen and Hagiware, I knew we were racing for the win. I was really happy with myself today, that I got it right!

“It’s my first European win, so it’s kind of a big deal for me and I was hoping to get one this year. It was just a long time coming so yeah I’m very happy!”

In Switzerland, Lizzie Williams claimed her first professional victory, riding to a solo win at the SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn.

Her team-mate Valentina Scandolara won the bunch sprint for second to make it a 1-2 for the Australian outfit.

“It just feels so good to get a win for the team,” Williams said.

“I guess it’s also a bit of relief. It’s been a rocky first part of the season for me and for the team and after a fantastic training camp this is another big morale boost and I really feel this is the start of a winning roll for our team.”

The 31-year-old’s solo move, with a little over ten kilometres to go, was just one of many attacks by a dominant ORICA-AIS.

“We had someone in every move and we were initiating pretty much every attack and every breakaway,” Williams said.

“I took a moment where I knew there was a sharp corner into a descent with about 12km to go and gave it everything to stay away.

“Once I got over the final climb I knew that the course had only one flat section and the rest was downhill and technical and I knew I could ride that quicker than a large peloton. When I got to the corner I attacked on the previous lap, which was about two kilometres to go, and I couldn’t see the bunch and I knew I had it then.”

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