The women’s and men’s teams set to kick off the 2020 season at the Santos Tour Down Under
Trek-Segafredo will line up for the fifth Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, the opening professional women’s race on the international cycling calendar, with a strong six-rider squad eager to fight for stage honors as well as the General Classification.
The Australian four-stage race kicks-off on January 16 in Adelaide with a parcours designed to provide sprinters, climbers and all-rounders alike the chance to fight for glory.
After a stellar performance in the 2019 edition, which saw Letizia Paternoster sprint to victory on the opening stage, seizing Trek-Segafredo’s first win of the season, plus two podium places, the American-registered squad returns to Australia with high ambitions. Six-time Finnish Road Champion Lotta Henttala (née Lepistö) will look to contest the sprint finishes while US Road Champion Ruth Winder, who last year finished top-10 in the general classification, will fight for the GC alongside her compatriot Tayler Wiles.
Director Ina-Yoko Teutenberg anticipates an attritional and highly competitive race.
“Tour Down Under is always an early race where you ride against in-form Australians. We have put a good team together to be able to fight for a high GC standing with Tayler (Wiles) and Ruth (Winder). Lotta (Henttala) will make her return to competition after a challenging 2019 plagued with injury and we will support her in the sprints.
“The race has changed a bit and there are no mountain top finishes so tactics will play a bigger role. This route also opens up the race to more contenders, and with those opportunities on the line, I believe we will witness some good, aggressive racing,” says Teutenberg.
Tour Down Under is always an early race where you ride against in-form Australians.
Twenty-six-year-old Ruth Winder, who in the previous edition took a strong second place in Stirling on Stage 4, is eager to start the season Down Under.
“I love starting the season in Tour Down Under, partly to escape the winter in Colorado but also because I just love Australia. We had a really good start to the season there last year. It’s a great place to begin the season and spend some time working on how we ride together before the start of the spring races in Europe. It’s our second year together as team Trek-Segafredo, and everyone expects a strong team. We will look to win stages and set ourselves up with a GC chance,” says Winder.
Polish TT Champion Anna Plichta, road captain Trixi Worrack, and Abi Van Twisk complete the Trek-Segafredo’s women’s squad for the maiden race of 2020.
Line-up: Lotta Henttala (FIN), Ruth Winder (USA), Tayler Wiles (USA), Anna Plichta (POL), Abi Van Twisk (GBR), and Trixi Worrack (GER)
Richie Porte will spearhead Trek-Segafredo’s men’s roster for the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under, also the opening race of the season for the men. The six-stage race starts on January 20 and is preceded by the Schwalbe Classic, a 51km criterium in downtown Adelaide. The World Champion Mads Pedersen will make his highly anticipated season debut and will be given free rein in the first stages before shifting his focus to the team’s key goal for the race: a top result in the overall classification with Richie Porte.
The Tasmanian native, who previously won the race in 2017 and has won the queen stage of Willunga Hill six straight years, will enjoy the support of a strong squad. Trek-Segafredo is bringing a mix of experienced riders who have already proven themselves on Australian soil, such as newcomer Kenny Elissonde, and eager debutants who will be looking to seize the opportunity to prove themselves in the first WorldTour race of 2020.
“It’s always nice to start the season in Adelaide. Being from Australia it’s a big motivation to come and race in front of the people that normally stay up until after midnight to watch the racing in Europe. It’s so nice to come and meet some of those fans, the vibe around this race is sick, and it’s one of the best-organized races. It’s second to none and a great race to start with if you’ve spent your off-season in Australia training,” explained Porte.
“I haven’t changed much in my build-up; I’ve been training in Tasmania on familiar roads, and it’s worked in the past. The fact that we’ve got the climb up to Paracombe this year and also Willunga on the last stage is a good thing for me – it’s kind of the same course as in 2017 when I won the race. I think I’m arriving in good shape, and we’re going to have a pretty strong team, so I’m looking forward to getting the race and the season kicked off in Australia,” he added.
Being from Australia it's a big motivation to come and race in front of the people that normally stay up until after midnight to watch the racing in Europe.
Completing Trek-Segafredo’s seven-strong roster are Juan Pedro López and Michel Ries, who will make their debuts as neo-pros, road captain Koen de Kort and American fast man Kiel Reijnen.
“We aim for the best possible result in the General Classification. Our ambition and ultimate goal is to fight for the victory with Richie Porte, our team leader and GC contender. The course is more favorable to Richie this year with two uphill finishes on Stages 3 and 6,” said director Kim Andersen.
“We bring a strong and motivated squad to support Richie, specifically in the key stages. Kenny (Elissonde) has done well in the past in TDU and will play an important role. Neo-pros Juan Pedro López and Michel Ries will also aim to give good support in the hillier terrain. Mads (Pedersen) will have a free run for the sprints in the first two stages but will then commit 100% to the team’s goal of winning the race overall.”
Line-up: Richie Porte (AUS), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Kenny Elissonde (FRA), Kiel Reijnen (USA), Koen de Kort (NED), Michel Ries (LUX), Juan Pedro López (ESP)
22nd SANTOS TOUR DOWN UNDER (UCI 2.UWT)
Official website: https://www.tourdownunder.com.au/
Women: January 16-19
Men: January 21-26
DS Men: Kim Andersen (DEN)
DS Women: Ina Teutenberg (GER)