Familiar faces will arrive in Adelaide as part of Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank’s line-up for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
Among them is lead rider Shannon Malseed, an emerging Australian rider who counts an Oceania Cycling Road Race Championship in 2016 among her list of achievements, along with a contingent of transatlantic riders from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Notably, the team is managed by Ed Beamon, who visited Adelaide as principal of the former Navigators Insurance team that competed in the inaugural Santos Tour Down Under in 1999.
Beamon told tourdownunder.com.au the chance to come back to Adelaide as part of the Santos WTDU was an exciting prospect.
“It’s been 10 years since I was last in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under and I am thrilled to be coming back, this time with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank,” Beamon said.
“I’ve been following the growth of the Santos Tour Down Under and South Australia’s investment in the women’s peloton the last few years and it is so exciting to have a full four-day stage race as an integral part of the 2018 event.
“The organization and excitement around the race has long made it a favorite among professional riders and teams, and I know the women are really going to feel the energy and enthusiasm that is a special feature of the Adelaide experience.
“Adelaide is one of my favorite cities – with the coast in one direction and the Adelaide Hills in the other, it is a beautiful place to be, and an even more spectacular place to ride.
“The excitement that surrounds the race and associated events is electrifying, and I can’t wait to feel the energy from the fans that are such a special part of the Santos TDU.”
Based in California, Team TIBCO Silicon-Valley Bank may well enjoy similar conditions to Adelaide, at least compared to European outfits that will also make the journey to South Australia in January.
Beamon is acutely aware of the challenge facing his team, particularly against a strong contingent of Australians looking to claim home honors, but he is also hopeful of Team TIBCO Silicon-Valley Bank being able to have an impact during the tour.
“It’s pretty tough for us northerners to fully prepare for the South Australian summer where the heat and the sun’s intensity can be critical elements,” Beamon said.
“We have several of the riders training in warmer climates this month in an attempt to not only build the kilometers, but also gain some acclimation to the warmer weather.
“Having a rising Australian talent in Shannon Malseed on the team, we are acutely aware of how important this race is, especially to the Australian riders, and we will be prepared to expect a very strong and fit southern hemisphere contingent to animate the race.
“We also realize that many Classics-oriented riders will come well-tuned for the spring campaign so we need to be prepared for some very fast and aggressive racing.”
The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under takes place from Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 January 2018, with stages in Adelaide, the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.
Team TIBCO Silicon-Valley Bank roster at the 2018 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under:
Shannon Malseed (Australia)
Kathryn Buss (USA)
Emma Grant (United Kingdom)
Alison Jackson (Canada)
Alice Cobb (United Kingdom)
Kendall Ryan (USA)
Photo – Kendall Ryan, who will race the 2018 Santos WTDU, leads the team up a climb – photo Jonathan Devich