The Trust House Women's Tour of New Zealand has announced not one, but two all-Australian teams will cross the Tasman next month to participate in the five day tour. Cycling Australia coach Warren McDonald will bring both the Australian National and Australian Institute of Sport teams to the land of the long white cloud.
"The event is very well organised and it's a great course with some very tough stages, making it exciting for riders and spectators," said McDonald.
Leading the national team will be Olympic road champion Sara Carrigan, Oceania scratch race champion Tiffany Cromwell, Olivia Gollan, Australian Time Trial Champion Carla Ryan, and up and coming riders Vicki Whitelaw and Louise Kerr.
"Having two top Australian teams here in New Zealand is great for the sport and for our event," said race director Jorge Sandoval. "The Australians are very competitive and always want to do well. They will be formidable opposition to the top Europeans teams as well as our own top New Zealand National team lead by Sarah Ulmer."
The Australian Institute of Sport team will consist of 2003 World Triathlon champion Nikki Egyed, Jenny MacPherson, duel Australian national champion Lorian Graham, former junior world champion Amanda Spratt, Candice Sullivan and Jocelyn Loane.
The event will mark Graham's first international appearance since being injured in the horrific German training accident which claimed the life of former teammate Amy Gillett in 2005.
The Trust House Women's Tour of New Zealand gets underway on Wednesday March 7, with a criterium around the Avalon, Lower Hutt circuit. Thursday's stage two takes the riders from Martinborough to Masterton, followed by mountain stages on Friday and Saturday. The tour heads to Wellington on Sunday for the fifth stage time trial around the Miramar Peninsula followed by the final stage - a criterium at the bottom of Lambton Quay in Wellington.