South Africa’s top female road cyclist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio will kick off the 2019 season at the Women’s Tour Down Under starting on Thursday.
She will be making her debut for new Dutch oufit CCC-Liv where she will be looking for a podium place.
“The excitement of signing with a brand new team has only built over the last few weeks,” Moolman-Pasio said about signing with the Netherlands-based team.
“Since it’s also our first race as a team, the goal is just to start learning how to race together over the four-stage event.”
Moolman-Pasio brings some serious pedigree to her new team and will be buoyed by her general classification podium performance at Giro Rosa in 2018.
She will co-lead the team with Dutch legend Marianne Vos where they will be looking for major victories for the team.
“Climbing is my biggest strength,” said Moolman-Pasio.
“That does mean that I’ll already have some ambitions in the Spring Classics time. So, races like Strade Bianche, Flanders, and then Flèche Wallonne – those are all highlight races for me. I’d love to take
a victoryfor the team.”
The Women’s Tour Down Under consists of four stages of 112.9km, 116.7km, 104.5km and 42.5km starting on Thursday and finishing in Adelaide on Sunday.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start with a new team, with a new race. It will be my first time competing at the Tour Down Under,” Moolman-Pasio said.
“It’s all about bonding this week but, if an opportunity arises, whether that’s snuggling a kangaroo or grabbing a podium, you can bet we’re going to take it.”