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Grace Brown and Amanda Spratt finished first and second overall in the 2023 Tour Down Under
Grace Brown and Amanda Spratt confirmed for Tour Down Under battle
Home riders will be GC favourites as first names are confirmed for WorldTour opener
Racing News Editor
The two Australian riders are the first two names to be confirmed on the startlist for the Women’s WorldTour opener after Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) was recently confirmed to be defending his title in the men’s race.
Last year, the first year the women’s race was a WorldTour event, the women’s Tour Down Under featured tougher parcours with a Corkscrew Road finale, the biggest climb featured in the previously fairly flat race since its inception in 2016.
The battle on Corkscrew Road came down to a head-to-head sprint between Grace Brown and Amanda Spratt, with Brown winning on the line to seal the overall title ahead of Spratt. With the two confirmed for the 2024 race, and a visit to Willunga Hill on the cards, the pair will once again be expected to be at the forefront of the GC battle.
“The 2023 Tour Down Under was a perfect season start for me and my FDJ SUEZ team,” Brown said as defending champion. “It was really special and exciting for me to take the lead of the race on the final day surrounded by Aussie fans and my family.
“We are hoping for similar success in the upcoming edition and will bring another strong team to challenge for the victory. The three stages look well rounded, with opportunities for sprinters, puncheurs, and climbers.”
Though she missed out on the overall win in 2023, Spratt is the most decorated rider at the Tour Down Under, having won three consecutive titles between 2016 and 2018. With more climbing on the route, the 36-year-old may be eyeing the possibility of adding a fourth title to her palmarès, especially with the chance of winning on Willunga Hill up for grabs.
For race director Stuart O’Grady, being able to attract the likes of Brown and Spratt to the early season race, many miles away from the European hub of racing, reflects positive signs for the race.
“To have so many world-class riders is a testament to our event and the continued growth and popularity of women’s cycling,” he commented.
O'Grady also confirmed that eight Women’s WorldTour teams had so far confirmed their attendance for the 2024 race, with FDJ-SUEZ and Lidl-Trek among them. Historically, not all teams have made the long trip to the southern hemisphere in January, but this increased in 2023 with the race moving up to WorldTour status.
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