The Castelli Women’s Racing squad has been announced for the 2019 Gravel and Tar La Femme.  The UCI 1.2 event will see five riders line up, featuring multiple options and a diverse range of strengths.

 

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Gravel and Tar Classic: START LIST

Gravel and Tar La Femme: START LIST

 

This year’s Gravel and Tar La Femme sees 35 riders across 7 teams take to the start line for one of the toughest one-day races on the global cycling calendar.  116km of course awaits, comprised of 40km of gravel and 76km on tarmac is set to test all-comers and with a very strong women’s field announced, trying to pick a winner on the day has become a daunting task.

The Castelli Women’s Racing squad for the 2019 Gravel and Tar La Femme is: Hannah Bayard, Bronwyn MacGregor, Kerri-Anne Page, Georgia Danford, Kate Mcilroy. Manager: Rebecca Kingsford

The major asset for Castelli Women’s Racing is their diversity in strengths.  Kate Mcilroy of Wellington is on fine form following her win at The Pioneer MTB stage race at the end of 2018. Kate is a talented athlete and brings a wealth of experience racing at elite level across multiple sports including triathlon and mountain running.

Georgia Danford, described by teammate Hannah Bayard as ‘our pocket rocket’, is a young up and coming rider from Auckland. Hailing from the track, Danford’s ability on the road shone in the elite women’s race at the Vantage Criterium National Championships where she finished second behind Racquel Sheath.  Over the longer distances Danford has also shown her strength, taking the win the elite women’s race at SRAM Tour de Ranges.

Kerri-anne Page from Hawkes Bay is a household name in New Zealand Cycling. She has done pretty much every bike race in NZ and is hoping to go one better than her brother Michael did at the UCI Gravel & Tar last year.  Page’s history in a breakaway precedes her, with Kerri-Anne having twice won the QOM jersey at the Elite Road National Championships on the back of her willingness to take a race on early.  In a race that leaves little by way of opportunity to collaborate and draft on the gravel, Page could prove invaluable.  She also happens to be the reigning Age Group National Champion.

Aucklander Bronwyn MacGregor is the team’s resident time trial specialist, she has raced in multiple UCI races in Europe the past few seasons and while La Femme may be a little longer than your average TT, her knowledge and experience racing at this level will be invaluable to the team this weekend.  MacGregor is one of four Kiwis who will be riding under MEXX-Watersley International Women’s Cycling Team colours over in Europe later this year; joining Amanda Jamieson, Rylee McMullen and Kate Smith.

Similar to Danford, Cambridge rider Hannah Bayard, will bring a strong amount of track experience to the start line in Feilding.  A regular on the Grassroots Trust Team Championship circuit, Bayard will be very dangerous in the final few hundred metres of the race should a group sprint decide matters.

 

Photo: PageImagery

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