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Awesome Annemiek

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Story: Andrew Amos Photo: TDW Sport.

Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash at Rio was horrific. However, it only seemed to spur her on. Only one month after breaking her spine during the Olympics Road Race, she was back on her bike and on form. She finished her 2016 season with a win in her return race, the Lotto Belgium Tour, ahead of Marianne Vos. But in 2017, she’s gone from great to legendary. She has proven herself as one of the best climbers in the Women’s World Tour, taking stages at the Giro Rosa on slopes of 27%, winning atop the Col d’Izoard in La Course, and conquering the hilly Individual Time Trial at Worlds in Bergen. In all her Women’s World Tour participations, she has only failed to finish in the top 5 twice. She finished 2nd on the Women’s World Tour rankings behind her compatriot – and winner of that fateful Rio Road Race – Anna van der Breggen. In her homeland of the Netherlands, she won the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in September, as well as the National Time Trial Championships. As an Orica-Scott rider however, and as an ambassador for Ride WA, her second home is Australia. She loves riding Down Under, winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race back in January. Her return to form is nothing short of spectacular, producing her best season ever in 2017. She finishes it off in November at the Tour of Margaret River, as a World champion, where you can expect her to blow everyone away up the Mur du Hay.

Cycle City

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Tour week this year kicks off in Albany with the Albany Cycling Club hosting a Team Time Trial on Nov 5th and The Amazing Albany Bike Ride (TAABR) on the following day. Join us and some special guests in Albany and in the week that follows as we take the long (and leisurely) way to Margaret River where the race itself will begin on Nov 11th. Sincere thanks to the City of Albany for it’s support of TAABR and Breakaway WA, we can’t wait to visit Cycle City!  Register to ride TAABR or Breakaway WA.

The long way to Margaret River

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If you can get the whole week off from work we have daily rides happening across the Great Southern and South West in the lead up to this year’s tour. The week commences with the Amazing Albany Bike Ride on November 6th. All rides will start and finish in the same location each day with routes specially designed to showcase the hidden and iconic attractions of each region.  Our crew supporting these rides will be based at the Ocean Beach Holiday Park in Denmark, (Nov 6 and 7th) before transferring to Fonty’s Pool (pictured) near Manjimup, (Nov 8 and 9th.) Both locations have chalets and great facilities for caravanning and camping, throw in a couple of well known cycling identities and you have the formula for a memorable week before the tour even begins.

Zoe’s Story

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“I never thought in a million years that I would be racing at 50 years old, but age is just a number.”  At just 4ft 7inches Zoe Stolton is one of the easiest riders to pick out in the peloton, but what Zoe lacks in height she makes up for in courage, passion and determination. Zoe was a late starter to cycling and a serious accident in only her second race could well have ended her career before it really began, but despite this setback (and others) she has become a popular and iconic figure at PDCC earning the nickname “Heart of a Lion” as she continues to defy her age and adversity to win races and progress up through grades. In 2014 Zoe completed her first ToMR in a team with five men, but this year she is back with her own all female team the “Lakes Ladies.” Don’t expect her to just be making up numbers either as she has learnt a few tricks in her brief racing career and we expect her to be having a red hot go in any sprint finish.

Paige

Valentine to star at Closing Ceremony

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This year we have been very committed to creating the ultimate experience for our participants and thus we can think of no better way to conclude the tour than sitting back on lawns of Leeuwin Estate and listening to the delectable voice of one of WA’s brightest new stars. Described a cross between Birdy and Abby Dobson, Paige Valentine’s performance at our Closing Ceremony will coincide with the launching of her new album late in the year. With no racing the next day you may even like to indulge in a chardonnay or two while taking in the ambiental magic that is unique to Leeuwin Estate. Photo: Russell Ord

Meyer to ride for Satalyst

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Cameron Meyer is the latest rider to move from our Pro Register and into a team for ToMR. We are not privy to the team plans but we expect that Cam will be sent out by Satalyst to chase a stage win rather than pursue a high GC position. That said this year’s course really suits him and white line fever is such an unpredictable thing, just ask Phil Anderson who came across to the tour in 2013 with no intent to race and ended up winning three stages! Photo: Con Chronis, Tour Down Under

Legends Night gets Intimate

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At the conclusion of the tour Leeuwin Estate’s Art Gallery will be transformed into a spectacular and intimate setting for our Legends Night. With a host of special guests and some of the regions finest food and wine on offer this night will be the perfect way to complete your tour experience. We recommend purchasing tickets in the near future in order to avoid disappointment. A limited number of corporate tables are still available, please contact us directly if you would like to discuss this option.

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Shannon’s Story

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Shannon Miraglia always led an active lifestyle until a back injury prevented her from exercising for 18 months. As a part of her recovery program and in an effort to get back to her “optimum weight” Shannon took up cycling with the Perth Integrated Health Cycling Group. Six months later, (and 14kg lost) Shannon participated in the Niche Living Women’s Training Program conducted by Hall Cycle Training and soon after completing the program decided to step up from participation events to racing. Shannon will come to the 2015 Tour as a part of the Next Vision Women’s Cycling Team, by her own admission she may not be a contender at the tour, but that’s not the point.

Photo courtesy: Lite n’ Easy

OTOC-Vault

Merging Powers

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The OTOC Vault Racing Team arrived on the NRS scene this year in a way reminiscent of the Lothbroks going on a family holiday to the County of Wessex, pulling off a stunning victory at the Tour de Perth against quality opposition. Their recent merger with the GDT Flanders Team brings together master tacticians Brad Hall and Gordon Hindley in a formidable combination. With high calibre riders like Stephen Hall and Jai Hindley likely to return to Australia for the tour and the prodigious young talents of Michael Storer and Craig Wiggins at their disposal, this team will be looking to take home both the GC and Young Riders Jersey from Margaret River. Photo Credit: Tony Lendrum, Tom Lowry Memorial