Image: ©Tino Pohlmann
CANYON//SRAM Racing will move from the final stage today of Thüringen Rundfahrt in Germany to the centre of Paris when it lines up for La Course by Le Tour de France on Sunday 24 July. The team’s roster for the third edition of La Course is Barbara Guarischi, Lisa Brennauer, Tiffany Cromwell, Alexis Ryan, Alena Amialiusik and new British road champion Hannah Barnes.
The 89km circuit race takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Paris looping around the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. With thirteen laps of a 7km circuit Barbara Guarischi admits it’s one of the most beautiful races on the women’s calendar. “Every country has its something special, and the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées is that for France. I love racing on the cobblestones in Paris. If you raise your head it’s a special view and it’s a pleasure to be part of this race.”
But with a star-studded line up and fast racing expected the peloton’s opportunity to appreciate the scene will be limited. “The peloton is incredibly strong at the moment and every race is a fight, which makes the race not only hard but means that any outcome is possible,” said Guarischi.
Teammate and Australian rider Tiffany Cromwell agrees. “La Course in general is a fast race due to the nature of the course making breakaways challenging to stick. I think it'll be an aggressive race as everyone wants their time to shine. But in the end it'll likely be a bunch kick to the finish when we see those with the strongest trains and those with the fastest, most powerful legs succeed.”
Cromwell also makes reference to the spectacular nature of La Course by Le Tour de France. “I love this race as it’s not every day you get to race in the centre of a major city let alone up and down the famous Champs-Élysées. It's iconic. A beautiful race with awesome crowds and being run alongside one of the biggest sporting events in the world, Le Tour de France. It makes it extra special.”
Racing on Sunday 24 July starts at 13:30 (CEST) and can be followed on the team’s Twitter @WMNcycling and using #UCIWWT and #LaCourse.
by Beth Duryea