CCC-Liv will line up in Australia to kick off the 2019 Road Season in Australia at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under from 10-13 January 2019.
CCC-Liv will join some of the top-ranked squads in the world: Mitchelton-Scott, Ale Cipollini, Astana, Tibco-SVB, Rally UHC, BePink and the newly launched Trek-Segafredo at the start in Hahndorf.
CCC-Liv will start the season with four newcomers Valerie Demey, Evy Kuijpers, and Agnieszka Skalniak and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio from South Africa. Riejanne Markus and Jeanne Korevaar will complete the selection for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
Mitchelton-Scott will line up with a dominant team that includes Spratt along with Lucy Kennedy, Gracie Elvin, Sarah Roy, Grace Brown and Georgia Williams. The Australian-based outfit will face CCC-Liv’s team of Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who will be one of the Spratt’s biggest GC threats, along with Jeanne Korevaar and Riejanne Markus.
As in 2018, sports director Jeroen Blijlevens deliberately opts for a season opening in Australia. “The Australian riders are in good shape, because that is the time of the national championships. It is a good race incentive for us and it will be difficult to immediately respond to the cyclists who are in such a shape. Everyone on our team who wants to try something, has the opportunity.”
“The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under is a perfect race to get used to each other and create reflexes for the rest of the season. In the heat of the battle, the riders must be able to find each other. After the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, we know where we stand.”
Mengler Hill sets the tone for GC
The race will begin with stage 1 on January 10 in Hahndorf where the women will race for 112.9km before finishing in Birdwood. There is one intermediate sprint in Gumeracha along with two QOM ascents in Forreston and one in Charleston.
Stage 2, on January 11, will be one for the climbers with a start in Nuriootpa and a hilltop finish on Mengler Hill in Angaston. The women will race 116.7km with an intermediate sprint in Angaston followed by a QOM atop Three Cols Climb. The race loops back through Eden Valley for a second intermediate sprint in Angaston and then heads toward the finale on Mengler Hill.
“Stage 1 will see the riders travel from Hahndorf to Birdwood and we expect a fast, bunch sprint, while the course for stage 2 from Nuriootpa to Mengler Hill will see the climbers reign supreme on this Subaru Queen of the Mountain,” said race director Kimberley Conte.
Stage 3, on January 12, will start in Nairne and finish 104.5km later in Stirling. There will be an intermediate sprint in Echunga and a QOM at Red Gum Hill in Greenhills Range.
“The beautiful and technically challenging stage 3 course finishing in Stirling, incorporates part of the famous circuit used frequently on the men’s race. Riders who know the area well may be able to put their local knowledge to the test and emerge as the victor on this stage,” Conte said.
The race will end on January 13 with stage 4 in Adelaide. The peloton will compete in a 42.5km race held on a closed city circuit that starts and finishes on Bartels Road.
After the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under CCC-Liv will stay for a short Training Camp and end their Australian Trip with The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race on 26 January 2019.