Kicking off 2023 Down Under
Our squad is ready for our second year in the WorldTour
It’s been a little over three months since our last road race.
Since then, we’ve rested, trained, planned and prepared for the 2023 season. And now that we are in Australia, we couldn’t be more excited to get things underway at the Tour Down Under.
The WorldTour race will unfold over three stages in and around the city of Adelaide beginning on January 15. Stage one is 110 kilometers. The route heads south and reaches its conclusion along the sandy beaches of Snapper Point. Given its flat terrain, the peloton probably won’t take in the sea views until after the sprint finish. The next day heads to the rolling hills just east of Adelaide. At just 90 kilometers, it’s the shortest stage and the run in to the finish is pan flat. Stage three is another lumpy course and the organizers have saved the Corkscrew for the race’s finale. The climb is only 2.3 kilometers but the average gradient is over 9% and it maxes out at a leg breaking 24.4%. After cresting the Corkscrew, it’s a 7.5 kilometer descent all the way to the finish line where the Tour Down Under will present the race leader’s ochre jersey one final time.
For us, this race is an opportunity to slowly wind up the season and for one of our new signees, Georgia Williams, to sink her teeth into racing with the squad. She will be joined by Krista Doebel-Hickok, Abi Smith, and Lauren Stephens.
"I remember racing really aggressively and hard and that’s what I want to do here now."
Sports director Daniel Holm Fodder’s goal is for our roster to start laying the foundation for a strong 2023. “It's super early and for our riders it will be the first race of the season. Our focus is on following our strategy day by day and keeping our standards high for how we want to race as a team. Maybe we will already be good enough for a result, but nobody knows. The most important thing is that we get the group together for the season.”
Krista has raced Tour Down Under three times before and loves starting off the season in Adelaide.
“I’ve really had a lot of fun here and good experiences here,” she says. “It’s always a good way to kick off the season because the heat is a lot easier for me to prepare for than a cold, spring classic. There was a year when I was one second off the GC podium so I remember racing really aggressively and hard and that’s what I want to do here now, not necessarily in terms of results but just racing aggressively and having a lot of fun out there. I think it’s a pretty open race since it’s just three days and relatively short stages. There’s no really decisive, massive climb so it’s a lot of time to play and roll the dice and see what happens.”
Coming from just across the Tasman Sea, Georgia thinks of Tour Down Under as being in her backyard so making her debut in pink here is special to her.
“It feels really good to be here,” Georgia says. “It’s like a home race for me because it’s so close and we never get to race in New Zealand. It’s always fun to race here and with my new team of course, in our colors so I’m really excited. Our riders already know each other so well so it’s all about learning for me. I’m focused on good communication with my new teammates so that I can help the team as much as possible. I’m looking forward to diving into 2023.”
How to watch: In Europe, GCN+ will broadcast the race. North Americans can watch on FloBikes.