Shelley Olds 2nd overall at Santo's Women's Tour Down Under
Cylance Pro Cycling’s first stop on the 2016 Women’s World Tour brought a podium finish, as Shelley Olds finishes 2nd in GC at the Santos Tour Down Under this past weekend in Adelaide, Australia.
“I felt strong heading into this event,” said Olds, whose focus is qualifying for the Rio Games this August. “The Tour Down Under has stages suited for sprint finishes,” which are Olds’expertise. Joining Olds on the Cylance roster for Santos Tour Down Under was Alison Tetrick, Doris Schweizer, Rossella Ratto, Kristabel Dobel-Hickok and 2015 defending champion Valentina Scandolara.
The four-day stage race was action packed from the start, with Olds 2nd in the 95km road race in Mt. Torrens. Teammates Valentina Scandolara and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok placed 8th and 15th respectively, sending the message that Cylance Pro Cycling is a force to be reckoned with this year.
Stage two’s 20.4km circuit race in the East End brought all excitement of World Tour racing as speeds topped out at 48kph and a crash that strung out the peloton on lap ten (of 12). At the line, Nettie Edmonson of Wiggle High5 won the stage with Shelley Olds finishing in same-time 8th, keeping her podium spot in GC secure.
With temperatures rising in the Australian summer, Stage Three’s 100.8km road race in Barossa Valley brought a lap course with the notorious Whispering Wall, bound to test the limits of every rider. A break with Cylance’s Rossella Ratto early in the race gave way to a break on lap three (of four) with Shelley Olds, who stayed strong to place 4th as Orica GreenEdge’s Lizzie Williams gained a strategic gap to take the win.
The final stage of the tour was yesterday’s Victoria Park criterium, a 70min 1.2km circuit . Cylance’s Valentina Scandolara, who won the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under, was undoubtedly the most aggressive rider of Stage Four, launching a series of attacks in the second half of the race. Ultimately, Kimberley Wells of High5 Dream Team took the victory, with Olds finishing a same-time 4th, and sealing 2nd overall GC.
“I’m incredibly proud of how the team raced here in Adelaide,” said director Manel Lacambra.“These riders are new to one another as teammates, and for first race of the season, we achieved podium finishes in the stages and GC. It is a great start for 2016, as we’ve demonstrated the depth and strength of Cylance Pro Cycling.”
Next up on the Cylance event calendar is team camp in Irvine, CA Jan 20-27, then Tour of Qatar, February 2-5th.