The world is her oyster surely after Grace Anderson performed brilliantly with her New Zealand National Team to secure the best young rider’s jersey at the Santos Women’s Tour. New Zealand eventually saw three of their riders in the top four, with Mikayla Harvey second and Deborah Paine fourth. It’s a testament to the progression of the team who have been under the guidance of Patrick Harvey that they’ve come to this point, with Anderson also securing 9th overall.
The Santos Women’s Tour ended up being a very strong one for New Zealand riders across the board. The highest placed on GC, Kate McIlroy of Specialized Women’s Racing, placed 8th overall. It’s a great start to the season for McIlroy in her first outing for Specialized Women’s Racing this season; and her first outing alongside new teammate Sharlotte Lucas who finished 19th overall.
Linda Villumsen of Team Virtu Cycling Women was aggressive during the race and eventually landed 16th overall. But it is the performance of the National Team that was just exceptional. Deborah Paine, Rylee McMullen, Kate Smith, Lydia Rippon, Mikayla Harvey and Grace Anderson rode a focussed race that saw them dominate the best young rider’s competition. With four riders, Rippon, Paine, Harvey and Anderson in the young rider classification, the team’s youthfulness and resolve to target that jersey paid off in spades as Anderson took the jersey on the stage to Mengler’s Hill and never looked back.
But what does this mean for Anderson’s future? Well Anderson and the team will be back in action at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race which is on the 27th January. Beyond that though a return to Team Illuminate and the UCI American racing scene awaits for Anderson, Harvey and Georgia Catterick and the trio – given the 2018 that they’ve already enjoyed – have every reason to approach the international scene with more confidence than ever before.
We’re looking forward to seeing the National Team back in action again in the Great Ocean Road Race but beyond that the future looks bright for Anderson, for the team, for the work that Mike Greer Homes Women’s Cycling have done with the riders in their care, and women’s cycling in New Zealand and the influence it has on an international scene.