Ragusa Claims QOM Win Down Under

Katia Ragusa captured overall victory in the Santos Tour Down Under QOM classification, sealing her win as a climber on the final 94.3km stage from Adelaide to Willunga Hill.

26-year-old Ragusa confirmed the win in style, cresting Windy Point in the first section of the stage to mean that she had won an incredible five of the six categorised climbs over the three stages.

“It’s so nice to begin with a new jersey in a new team. I think it’s amazing,” Katia said after her QOM victory. “The first race is a tricky one. You don’t know the level and the feelings in the bunch, so for sure it’s nice to have these good feelings.”

The win came after a team effort. Ragusa benefitted greatly from the domestique powers of Lily Williams to lead her out for the points.

“I can’t thank my teammates enough,” Ragusa said. “They protected me and delivered me on the climbs in the best place to score the points. They were amazing on all the days.”

Ragusa made the most of the new fleet from Factor and her classification victory is the first ever WorldTour jersey for a Factor bike team in either men’s or women’s cycling.

“This start to the season gives me confidence to get back to work,” Ragusa concluded.

After 27 months away from the Women’s WorldTour, Ruth Edwards ended her first weekend back racing by riding to 15th on the final stage and finishing 16th on the general classification.

Home rider Sarah Gigante (AG Insurance – Soudal Team) won the final stage, taking the overall win in the Tour.

Next up for the squad in Australia is the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 27th – a 141km one-day Classic, starting and finishing in Geelong. Rolling terrain, exposed coastal roads and a double ascent of the 1km at 8.9% Montpellier Hill in the finale will reward attacking racing.

Final QOM standings
1 RAGUSA Katia – Human Powered Health 37 points
2 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup – FDJ – SUEZ 12
3 GIGANTE Sarah – AG Insurance – Soudal Team 10
4 VINKE Nienke – Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 6
5 GRANGIER India – Team Coop – Repsol 6

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