Photo Credit: Peter's Images
It’s been an action-packed start to 2018 for Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank. Shannon Malseed chalked up the team's first victory of the year on New Year’s Day at the Ballarat Cycling Carnival Criterium. Shannon, who’s in her first year as a professional, then backed up her Criterium win with a major victory in the Australian National Championship road race.
Days later, the team arrived to join Shannon for their first Australian racing experience. The team’s Australian block of racing included the Santos Women's Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, the Towards Zero Race Melbourne Criterium, and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
In the Santos Women's Tour Down Under, the team raced consistently well and finished 2nd overall in the Team Classification, with two riders in the top 10 - Shannon (7th) and Emma Grant (10th). Following the race, the Santos Tour Down Under announced that the prize purse would be increased by about $90,000 thanks to a move by the South Australian government that put the competition’s prize pool on par with the men's event.
Next up was the Towards Zero Race Melbourne Criterium and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. On the F1 track at the Towards Zero Race Melbourne Criterium, Kendall Ryan pulled off a thrilling sprint finish to claim a podium spot by mere centimeters. The team was set for a great finish in the Cadel Evans road race before a crash in the final kilometer took the team out of contention. [Pictured: Shannon debuts her Australian National Champion kit by Voler Apparel]
The final race of the Australian block was the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. In the road race, Alison Jackson was sitting fourth in GC after her sprint bonus mid-race and strong bunch finish. In the short 1.6km time trial the next day, less than 10 seconds separated the top 20 finishers, and Alison's time of 2:15 secured her an 8th place finish overall.
After a very successful stint in Australia, the team is now looking forward to another strong season of racing in Europe and around the world, competing in numerous World Tour events.
“We’re excited to continue to give these talented women the opportunity to race at the highest level in cycling,” said Linda Jackson, founder of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. "We'll be extending our European racing calendar past what we have traditionally done in order to help them achieve their Olympic aspirations."
The team's training camp starts this week in Northern California, and includes the team's presentation on February 11 in Palo Alto. Camp will conclude with the Valley of the Sun Stage Race February 16-18, after which the team will head to Europe for several World Tour races: Ronde van Drenthe, Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Ronde Van Vlaanderen.
Photo: Kirsty Baxter