The UniSA-Australia women’s team will provide an integral racing opportunity for a host of Australia’s leading riders who are currently either not aligned with, or whose professional team is not contesting the summer of cycling in Australia.
Now in its third year as a UCI event, the newly upgraded UCI 2.1 race features four stages offering sprinters, opportunists and climbers something to target, including the first ever summit finish to Mengler's Hill on stage two.
Three-time world championship medallist Katrin Garfoot who became just the second Australian in history to win medals in the time trial and road race in the same year at the UCI Road World Championship in Bergen, Norway, headlines the versatile squad.
“I am happy to have a spot in such a fantastic team this summer, these girls deserve a ride and I am proud to be a part of the team,” Garfoot said. “My goal is to have a great race plan and to have a great race with the team.”
Joining Garfoot in the squad are two riders who ply their professional trade for FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope on the UCI Women's WorldTour, Lauren Kitchen and Shara Gillow. Tiffany Cromwell (CANYON//SRAM Racing) and Rachel Neylan (Movistar Women) will also be at the start line for the powerful outfit.
The remaining position on the team will be announced after the Road Nationals in January along with the selections for the UNI-SA men’s Australian National Team.
“I think it is great that all the girls get a chance to ride the UCI races this summer, especially these races count towards the Commonwealth Games selection,” Garfoot said. “I may know that I have ticked a lot of boxes for selections, but for me that still does not take the pressure off. I still have to perform on my best standard.
“Having the opportunity to race this Australian summer season will give us all a chance to test our legs and get us back into a race routine ahead of the Commonwealth Games.”
The Australian National women’s teams for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour will also be announced in mid-January.