UNI-SA Womens team for 2019 Santos Tour Down Under

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6 Dec 2018 Cycling Australia

WorldTour expertise and next-generation talent punctuate the UniSA-Australia women’s team selections for the 2019 Santos Tour Down Under.

The UniSA-Australia team provides a development opportunity for female athletes within the Cycling Australia (CA) National Athlete Pathway, or riders currently either not aligned with, or whose professional team is not contesting the Tour.

The seasoned and versatile Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) will spearhead the line up as team captain, with 2012 world championship silver medalist Rachel Neylan (Movistar)further bolstering the team’s knowledge and expertise to mentor the other riders.

“I like working with the younger riders and trying to get the most out of them,” said Kitchen. “I think I have progressed in this area professionally in the last few years with my FDJ team, so I look forward to the opportunity with UniSA-Australia for the Santos TDU.

Emily Roper’s (QLD) comeback continues to gain momentum following a solid 2018 domestic season which saw her finish second overall in the NRS General Classification. Former track world champion Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) continues her progression on the road with her 2018 season including several wins in the American circuit in addition to claiming the Australian national criterium crown.

NSWIS and High Performance Network scholarship holder Josie Talbot (NSW) has enjoyed a strong season in the USA, and with 2018 UCI junior road worlds representative Anya Louw (TAS) who will line up in her first race against an international elite age field, add youthful firepower to the outfit.

“It’s good that the younger riders from Australia have the chance to race with more seasoned riders at TDU, Cadels and the Sun Tour,” added Kitchen. “It’s a great way to progress and also showcase their skills to European and American teams. For me, it’s also a great way to kickstart my season before the classics and racing in Australia is something I always enjoy.”

The team is one of six men’s and women’s teams being prepared by Cycling Australia (CA) for the Australian Summer of Cycling which will compete in the Santos Women’s TDU, the Santos TDU, the CEGORR, Race Melbourne and the Herald Sun Tour.

Overseeing the performance strategy is CA Performance Director Simon Jones, Summer of Cycling Road co-ordinator Donna Rae-Szalinski, CA Technical Director - Road Brad McGee, and CA General Manager - Sport Kipp Kaufmann.

“These teams support the ongoing development of athletes within the Cycling Australia performance pathway,” said Simon Jones. “We know that the route to being a world class road rider takes time, persistence and patience. Our framework for future success supports athletes and teams and this selection process supports our overall performance strategy.”

University of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says he is delighted that the University will be supporting the women’s team at the Santos Tour Down Under once again in 2019.

“Next year, we will have been sponsors of this event for 18 years and it is now one of the most important international sporting events on the calendar in Australia,” Prof Lloyd says. “We’re always proud to support young people as they develop their talents.In sponsoring the women’s team, we hope to inspire more women to be the best they can be. In cycling as in education, a commitment to excellence brings great rewards.”

The men’s UniSA-Australia team for the Santos TDU will be announced on December 11.

The women’s team and men’s selections for the CEGORR, Race Melbourne and the Herald Sun Tour will be finalised following January’s FedUni Road Nationals.

UniSA-Australia Women’s Team - 2019 Santos Tour Down Under

  • Lauren Kitchen (NSW - FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
  • Anya Louw (TAS)
  • Rachel Neylan (SA - Movistar)
  • Emily Roper (QLD)
  • Josie Talbot (NSW)
  • Rebecca Wiasak (ACT)

The Santos Women's Tour Down Under starts on 10 January 2019 and is the opening professional women's race on the international cycling calendar.http://tourdownunder.com.au/race/womens/stages

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