[Pictured: Shannon Malseed racing the Australian National Championships earlier this week. Photo credit: Kirsty Baxter Photography]
Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank is kicking off the 2019 season in Australia with the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under (TDU) from January 10-13. Sharlotte Lucas (NZL) is fresh off her silver medal at the New Zealand National Championships, and will be joining a solid team of Alice Cobb (GBR), Alison Jackson (CAN), Shannon Malseed (AUS) and Lauren Stephens (USA).
"Coming from Texas, I think what I love the most about the Santos Tour Down Under is the heat," said Lauren Stephens, who finished second overall in last year's event. "I had a great start to my season here in 2018, and it's great to be back in Australia to launch this year's season with Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank."
“The 2019 edition of the TDU has more dynamic courses that offer up a lot of opportunities for hard racing,” said Alison Jackson (CAN). “Any of the first 3 stages could change the GC. It’s going to be an exciting four days of racing to follow.”
The four-day race features something for all types of riders, including sprint stages, a hilltop finish and a downtown circuit race. Starting in Hahndorf, the first stage covers 112.9 miles, two QOMs and an intermediate sprint before finishing in Birdwood. Favoring the climbers in the peloton, the 116.7km-second stage starts in Nuriootpa and finishes on Mengler Hill, after a QOM atop Three Cols Climb. With 104.5km of racing, stage 3 will be a more technical course, finishing in Stirling after a QOM at Red Gum Hill in Greenhills Range. The final stage, a dynamic 42.5km circuit in downtown Adelaide, is expected to come down to a sprint finish.
“We’re really excited to be here in Australia at the Santos Tour Down Under for our first race of the season,” said Linda Jackson, Founder of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank. “It will be a great opportunity for our riders to fire up their legs, test our early season fitness and gel as a team. This is the second year in a row that we’ve come out to this race, and we couldn’t be happier to be here and to be part of such an incredible cycling community and event.”
Click here to learn how to watch and follow the Tour Down Under.