A shape-memory effect is known to appear in red gold alloys with compositions close to Au-Cu. The aim of this paper is to study by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) the variant selection in the A1 -> L1(0) transformation occurring under stress, in bending conditions. The L1(0) domains are successfully identified by this technique despite the c/a ratio being close to unity. The orientation relationship between the cubic and tetragonal phases is determined by a careful analysis of the EBSD data. The distortion of the lattice for each variant is then modelled and calculated from the experimental orientations. The mechanical work associated with the transformation is computed from the lattice distortion by neglecting the obliquity. Finally, the distribution of this mechanical work is compared with the case of a uniform distribution of all variants, in order to evaluate the extent of variant selection. The maximal work criterion, often used for martensitic transformations, enabled quantification of the variant selection phenomenon.