Women’s Tour of NZ - World’s top female road cyclists
The list of world class riders entered in this month’s Trust House Women’s Cycle Tour of New Zealand continues to grow.
Hard on the heels of announcing that past tour winner Evelyn Stevens, riding for the USA national team, will race in the five-day international road cycle tour taking place entirely in the Wairarapa from February 18th – 22nd Race Director Jorge Sandoval has today confirmed another three international teams for the tour.
Leading the charge is the powerful Australian national team led by triple 2014 World Champion Macey Steward and double World Champion Alexandra Manly. The pair will be joined by Rachel Neylan, winner of the recent “Great Ocean Race” in Melbourne; Katrin Garfoot, bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2013 Australian National series champion and Lauren Kitchen.
“We have selected the best team available for a tough tour in New Zealand, we are bringing a team to try to win the race” said Australian coach Martin Barras.
International Rachel Neylan is please to come back to New Zealand.
“Since 2009 the race has been a personal sentimental favourite, the Trust House women’s tour of New Zealand was my first international tour and has been a wonderful launch pad over the years into the European season.
I am very excited to be racing the tour again this year and delighted in the re entry of the race on the UCI calendar, it fills an important gap in the month of February and has an important role in the Oceania region traditionally giving younger girls much needed pre European experience in a strong UCI peloton.
The tough terrain and long stages in the Wairarapa region provide a challenging five days, coupled with diligent organisation, safe roads and welcoming locals I always look forward to putting my best foot forward on the shores of NZ” Neylan said.
As well as the Australian national team, two other pro Australian teams have entered the event. These are the Holden Racing team lead by British pro Lucy Coldwell and the Hi 5 Team lead by Carla Ryan and Grace Sulzberger, both who have extensively raced in Europe.
There are nine other Australian riders who have entered on composite teams. One of them is accomplished hill climber Ruth Corset, a 31-year-old Queenslander who was national road champion in 2010 and has since earned a string of victories in Europe and the United States.
“To have such strength from Australia is great for the tour,” says Jorge. “All Australian riders have been competing at the highest level for the last month they will arrive race-fit, with the hilly course, like we have prepared for them around the Wairarapa, only the fittest will survive.
Alongside the Australians, the Japanese National team has also confirmed its participation in the event.
The Trust House sponsored event starts on Wednesday 18th February with a team’s time trial in Masterton. On day two riders will complete a stage from Masterton to Martinborough, followed by a stage in the Carterton area on Friday morning.
The Tour’s feature or “Queen Stage” is on Saturday 21st when riders will complete a 106km climbing two of the highest hills in the Wairarapa. First is Te Wharau hill before riders will grind their way up the 12km Admiral Hill finishing at the summit.
The Tour concludes on Sunday 22nd February when riders go north from Masterton to Pahiatua and return back to finish in Dixon Street in front of Queen Elizabeth Park.
2015 NEW ZEALAND WOMEN’S CYCLING TOUR
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CYCLING TEAM
KATRIN GARFOOT 2014 Bronze medallist, Commonwealth Games
2013 Australian National Road Series Champion
RACHEL NEYLAN Silver medallist 2012 World Cycling Championships
Silver medallist 2015 Australian National Championships
Winner Cadel Evans Grand Prix – January 2015.
MACEY STEWART World Champion, 2014 Junior Individual Time trial
World Champion, 2014 Junior Omnium
World Champion, 2014 Junior Team Pursuit
ALEXANDRA MANLY World Champion, 2014 Individual Pursuit
World Champion, 2014 Junior Team Pursuit
Bronze Medallist, 2013 Junior Worlds Individual Time Trial
LAUREN KITCHEN 2nd overall 2015 Bay Series
3rd Australian National Criterium Championships
Carla Ryan - Hi 5 pro team - Australia Twice winner at the 2012 Tour Cycliste Feminin – France
Top professional rider since 2008, competing at the highest level in international cycling.