The first race of 2020 will be the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under from 16th to 19th of January.
For the second consecutive year, the Astana Women’s Team racing season will start from Australia, but this time it will be a trip that will last four weeks and that will see the team engaged in two stage races and two one-day races. The program will be opened by the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under which will be held from 16 to 19 January in the surroundings of Adelaide: among the four stages, the decisive one for the general classification will be the third with three time the climb of Stirling where the finish line will also be placed.
At the end of the race, the team will then move to Geelong where the newly created Race Torquay will take place on January th, while on February 1st it will be the turn of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, a race that in this 2020 will also be valid as the inaugural event of the UCI Women’s World Tour. Compared to 2019, the Astana Women’s Team will also add the Lexus of Blackburn Womens Herald Sun Tour to its calendar, a stage race between 5th and 6th of February which will be decided on the second day on the long and demanding climb of Falls Creek.
For this month of racing in Australia, the Astana Women’s Team coaches have selected six riders. The leader will obviously be the Cuban Arlenis Sierra who last year in Australia took one of the most beautiful victories of her career by arriving solo at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: «But it will not be easy to repeat, the race has grown and with it also the level of the field. But I will try to do my best to be in front and then we’ll see».
Together with Sierra, the sports director selected Yareli Salazar, Yeima Torres and the debutants with the team Marina Ivanyuk and Italians Francesca Pattaro and Katia Ragusa, with the latter who already finished 15th in the overall classification of the Tour Down Under in 2019. The team will leave on Saturday 11th of January from Italy in the direction of Adelaide and will thus have a few days to adjust to the Australian time zone and climate.