It has been a fantastic start to the year for Sydney Uni Staminade. Coming off the National Championships, where Sydney Uni riders won gold in the E-Crit (Vicki Whitelaw), silver in the U23 (Emily Watts), and bronze in the U23 Road Race (Jessica Pratt), most of the team arrived in Adelaide on Monday and set about preparation for the 2019 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
Stage 1 was a rolling hills course, with several intermediate sprints and QOMs thrown in. The international teams, as expected, dominated the finish. However, there were some great results from our riders, with Georgie Whitehouse 13th and Jessica Pratt 14th on General Classification after the stage. Excitingly, Jessica is also 4th in the Under 23 (“Young Rider”) competition, with tomorrow’s stage from Nuriootpa (in the Barossa Valley) to a hill finish on Mengler Hill being more suited to Jess.
If you look at the day’s highlights, you get an idea of the strength of the field. Unfortunately, Jade Colligan crashed close to the finish and although she has a few bumps and bruises she was certified by the race doctor to be fit for Stage 2. A submission was also made by the team to the judging panel. Jade has been allowed back into the race, and given the time of the last finishing rider. While the latter is a disappointment for Jade who was hoping for a stronger showing, she is just delighted to be in the race for stage 2 after her TDU last year ended in Stage 1 with mechanical issues with her bike.
Another of our riders managed to let loose on one of our spare bikes in the final 2km of the stage after her own bike suffered a mechanical issue. In the team car, we heard about Anna’s issues on Tour Radio while we were chasing back on to the race convoy after stopping to assist with Jade. We managed to get to Anna, and give her the spare bike in reasonable time.
To follow the race live feed click HERE.
Live coverage of Stage 4 on Sunday 13th January can be found HERE.