Great Season Kickoff at Women's Tour Down Under

The Women’s UCI 2019 World Tour cycling season is underway and Rudy Project sponsored teams were recently in Australia to kick it off in style at the Santos Tour Down Under. Making the journey to race in the heat of the Aussie summer were Alé-Cipollini Women Pro Cycling Team from Italy and American Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank.

2019 Santos Women's Tour Down Under Team TIBCO-SVB RidersTeam TIBCO-SVB and Alé-Cipollini riders in the bunch Photo Santos Tour Down Under

The Santos Tour Down Under was a four-day stage race with a variety of terrain and courses to reward the sprinters, climbers and all-rounders. “The 2019 edition of the TDU has more dynamic courses that offer up a lot of opportunities for hard racing,” remarked Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley’s Bank Alison Jackson before the race got underway. “Any of the first 3 stages could change the GC. It’s going to be an exciting four days of racing to follow.”

The first stage rolled out of Hahndorf, presenting the riders with 112.9 miles to traverse on the finish line including two Queen of the Mountain contested climbs and an intermediate sprint before finishing in Birdwood.

Nadia Quagliotto Queen of the Mountains Women's Tour Down UnderNadia Quagliotto on QOM podium with Defender glasses Photo Cor Vos

adia Quagliotto of Alé-Cipollini took control on the climbs early, earning the QOM jersey on the first day for her efforts and kept it to the race conclusion. As it turns out, Quagliotto’s hails from Treviso, Italy, the home to the Rudy Project global headquarters. Should she turn up for a lunch ride at the office between her many racing engagements this summer, there’s bound to be some folks suffering off the back!

Alé-Cipollini team captain Chloe Hosking was also active out on course. She picked up a valuable time bonus in the intermediate sprint mid-race. Though her final sprint wasn’t what she had hoped for, her 10th place finish in the bunch combined with her time bonus was good enough to put her in third place on the general classification.

Alison Jackson 2019 Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 FinishAlison Jackson finishing stage 2 in Boost 01 helmet + Tralyx glasses Photo Kirsty Baxter

Alison Jackson of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley’s meanwhile put perhaps the most consistent results on the board for the week. The Canadian rider duked it out for the intermediate sprints, finishing third in that ranking, and crossed the line in fourth on the first stage. In fact she never finished outside the top-ten in any stage, which is an incredibly strong performance so early in the season.

Chloe Hosking Stage Four Win, Alison Jackson FifthChloe Hosking wins sprint in Tralyx glasses Photo Cor Vos

The final stage was 42.5km circuit through the streets of downtown Adelaide, which was custom designed for the sprinters. Having won on the same course last year and having the confidence to pull off a repeat, Hosking rallied her team to keep her out of trouble leading up to the final sprint.

The team came through on their end of the tactic and Chloe sealed the deal by besting the bunch on the line. And hats off again to Alison Jackson who contested the sprint rounded out the race in fifth place overall.