Race Preview: Santos Tour Down Under
[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.”