Inaugural Oceania Women’s Team Announced for Gravel and Tar La Femme

The Oceania Cycling Confederation is pleased to announce the inaugural Oceania Cycling Confederation Team to contest the 2019 Gravel and Tar La Femme, Saturday, January 19 in Manawatu, New Zealand.

Reigning Oceania road champion Sharlotte Lucas (New Zealand) is joined by 2018 New Zealand under 23 national champion Grace Anderson (New Zealand) who claimed the best young rider classification at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under 12 months ago and 2018 Women’s Herald Sun Tour winner Brodie Chapman (Australia). The team is rounded out by two of Australia’s rising stars Lizzie Stannard and Emma Chilton who both raced in the United States last year.

Lucas is looking forward to the opportunity to compete for the Oceania Cycling Confederation Team at the only UCI sanctioned one-day race in New Zealand.

“Racing against such a strong field of New Zealand and international riders in a UCI 1.2 event at home is really exciting,” said Lucas.

“I think it will really showcase the depth and talent of some of the female athletes from New Zealand competing and provide an awesome opportunity for valuable UCI points.”

The race comprises both road and gravel sections and for 40 kilometres of the 116 kilometre race riders will be tackling gravel roads creating a challenging course for the field.

“Gravel throws in a real technical element to a race as well as a higher chance of mechanical issues adding to the challenge,” Lucas added of the complexity of the course.

Oceania Cycling Confederation President and UCI Management Committee Member Tracey Gaudry said, “The Oceania Cycling Confederation is pleased to sponsor a team for the first UCI edition of Gravel and Tar La Femme. As one of four UCI sanctioned women’s road races in Oceania taking place between the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Women’s Road Race it provides an important opportunity for riders from our region to gain experience and UCI points.

“With current Oceania Champion Sharlotte Lucas, winners at UCI events in Oceania in 2018 Grace Anderson and Brodie Chapman as well as two rising stars Lizzie Stannard and Emma Chilton the team has a mix of youth and experience and I am sure they will be out to perform.

“We’re delighted to see the event offer the same prize money for both the women’s race and the men’s race which features on the UCI Oceania Tour, continuing the trend of race organisers supporting the growth of women’s cycling across Oceania.”

Gravel and Tar La Femme Race Director Jo Holdaway said “It is awesome these women are bringing a strong team dynamic, will show their work ethic in this difficult race, and be great role models for younger riders coming after them.

“Of course, they will be wanting to be in good form early in the season and collect those valuable UCI points,” she added.

Oceania Cycling Confederation Team for Gravel and Tar Le Femme
Grace Anderson (New Zealand)
Brodie Chapman (Australia)
Emma Chilton (Australia)
Sharlotte Lucas (New Zealand)
Lizzie Stannard (Australia)