CANYON//SRAM Racing has announced its roster for the first Women’s WorldTour race of 2024. The team’s lineup for the Santos Tour Down Under that takes place from 12th to 14th January will be headed by Australian duo Neve Bradbury and Tiffany Cromwell. With Alex Morrice, Soraya Paladin and Alice Towers alongside them, the team will bring a strong all-round squad to the three-day stage race in Adelaide.
Bradbury recently arrived in Adelaide, fresh from her national title in the U23 road race. For Cromwell, it will be her sixth appearance at the race. “TDU is a special race for me,” she admitted. “It’s my home race; it’s the first-ever road race I watched on the side of the road when I started my cycling career back in 2013 with a Talent ID program and we race on the roads I’ve grown up training on.”
“It’s been great watching the race grow over the years from a support criterium series to a national-level stage race and now the opening race of the WWT. I dreamt for years that there would be a women’s edition of the TDU. Now Stuey (O’Grady), Nettie (Edmondson) and Carlee (Taylor) are putting a lot of effort into creating an exciting women’s race and trying to grow it further each year.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to train on the courses for all three stages over the last weeks. I like the stages. They’re unpredictable and can suit many types of riders. Ultimately, the overall will be an all-rounder who can also climb.”
Cromwell summarised each of the three stages: “Stage 1 on paper, most will expect it to be a sprinter stage. The opening lap is quite undulating, with a leg-burner climb for the classified climb. Sprinters need to get over several small climbs, and opportunists will look to take a chance for a surprise stage upset.”
“Stage 2 is a stage of two parts. The opening kilometres are quite undulating as we make our way from the beach through the southern hills. There is a bit of recovery from Meadows through to Mylor and then all the focus goes to the Stirling finish circuit. One of my regular training laps. It’s a fast circuit with a tough finish. You’re effectively climbing in steps for the last 5km, and the final 1.5km is an annoying drag all the way to the line. Typically, a reduced bunch sprint comes to the finish.”
“The final stage is where the GC will be decided with the finish on top of the iconic Willunga Hill. The course connects to some of the stage two roads before heading to the wine country of McLaren Vale. If we get some of the strong winds Adelaide can produce, it could cause some crosswind damage if in the right direction. In the end, all eyes are on Willunga.”
“My 2024 season preparations seem to be going. People say I’m going well, but I’m still not 100% convinced. I’ve been doing plenty of quality training to get a good base. I still have some work to do on my top end. But I’m happy with where I’m at right now and how the pre-season has gone.”
“Our team for TDU is a strong and diverse roster. I see it as an opportunistic team. On average, it’s a pretty young team, and we won’t be the team everyone is watching, but we have a number of cards to play in the sprints and plenty of firepower for the climbs. Our constant goal is always to win, but getting a couple of podiums here would be a good start to the season. The ultimate goal of the race is to be a strong and united team to achieve the best results we can to help create strong team foundations for the season ahead.”
Chloé Dygert, who was originally named as part of the squad racing the Santos Tour Down Under, won’t join the team as she recovers from a minor injury.
HOW TO WATCH
All the Tour Down Under action can be followed on X with #TourDownUnder. A live broadcast of each stage is available on 7Plus and 7Mate.