Van Vleuten to debut rainbow colours at the first edition of the Women’s Herald Sun Tour

Mon 29 Jan 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT women continue racing in Australia this week at the first ever edition of the Women’s Herald Sun Tour presented by Let’s Go Motorhomes, where time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten will wear her rainbow jersey for the first time.

Starting one-day before the 65th edition of the men’s race, the women take on a tough hilly road stage in Healesville on Tuesday (30th) before heading to Melbourne city centre for a 1.6kilometre time trial (31st) which coincides with the opening prologue for the men.

The team:
Jessica Allen (AUS, 24)
Jennelle Crooks (AUS, 23)
Gracie Elvin (AUS, 29)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 29) 
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 35)
Georgia Williams (NZL, 24)

City centre rainbow 
It will be the first time that Van Vleuten will race in her rainbow jersey after winning the time trial title in Norway back in October. 

Van Vleuten has an impressive list of time trial victories to her name and is know for her strength in short time trials or prologues and with the rainbows on her back in the middle of the busy central business district of Melbourne, the motivation is there to win.

The course
Tuesday’s first road stage is 123kilometre from Healesville to Healesville in the Yarra Valley and includes a challenging lengthy climb up to Myers Creek which comes just 20kilometres from the finish line.

The climb is should certainly split up the peloton leaving some sizeable time gaps ahead of the lung busting time trial ‘sprint’ on the second stage.

Australian racing
The new two-day event on the calendar provides the women’s team and an extra opportunity to race in Australia which is exciting for an Australian team. Mitchelton-SCOTT will be looking to cap of their busy and successful Australian summer of racing with this event, after podium placings at the national championships, overall win at the Santos Tour Down Under and second place recently at the Deakin Women’s race. 

Annemiek van Vleuten - World time trial champion
“It is really exciting to have the time trial on the same day as the men in the city and for me it is extra exciting because it is the first time I can wear my rainbow jersey.”

“It’s an Australian race so it is even better for my team I can to wear the jersey here and I am really excited about that.”

“It’s a really short time trial but that suits me more and normally you don’t really look forward to the pain of a time trial but I am looking forward to it a lot and I expect the audience to be really big in Melbourne in the centre and before the men’s race, this is really special.

“I think the course can really suit me because it’s a really hard course so I looking forward to that.”

Gracie Elvin - Second place at the Deakin Women’s Race
“It is always great to have a new women’s race an alongside the mens racing. It is great for women’s cycling to have big exposure in Australia to start the year off."

"It is the last race on the Australian racing calendar for us and Tuesday will be very hard and selective and it should a great finale for the team so far. It is going to be really cool to see Annemiek in the rainbow jersey and this will be a very special day for her and the team.”

Women’s Herald Sun Tour details:
Tuesday, 30th January: Healesville to Healesville, 112km
Wednesday, 31st January: Melbourne, 1.6km 

Photo courtesy of Con Chronis