“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.
We would like to welcome Davide Marchegiano and the Punto Tours Italian Guides Team back to the 2015 tour. This team is full of great riders, but more importantly they know how to have fun off the bike as well. This team has will have a number of contenders for Green Jerseys and look for climbing specialist Andrea Nicosia to feature in the King of the Mountains contest.
Thanks to the support of City of Busselton we are now starting this stage from the spectacular coastal hamlet of Yallingup. This alteration to the start location makes the stage significantly more challenging with the incorporation of two categorised climbs, including the potentially decisive climb of Wildwood Road.
We have locked and loaded the stages for 2015 and it’s fair to say that this year’s tour will be very different to 2014. There is definitely more for the climbers and overall we think that we have met the challenge of constructing a more “epic” tour while at the same time managing to make the tour even safer. Perhaps the thing that stands out most about this year’s race is the breathtaking scenery we have been able to incorporate into the stages. The pictured view is from the early kilometres of Stage 2 that commences with a 420 metre ascent from the floor of the Blackwood Valley.
We are gathering the best people we can to help us make the largest sporting event in Western Australia. If you have a passion for Cycling, Media, Logistics, Photography or even Motorbikes, we could have a place for you on one of our crew or volunteer teams. If you would like to be a part of the tour please send a brief resumé outlining your experience and your particular field of interest or expertise to firstname.lastname@example.org Applicants from the Eastern States will be considered in addition to those from Western Australia.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2015 tour will be held at the most iconic of Margaret River venues in Leeuwin Estate. Expect the best of all the things that Leeuwin is famous for …. Art, Food, Wine, Music, and all with the addition of a Cycling Trade Expo. Make sure that you have a clean bike and matching socks for the team presentations and ensuing photographs.
More spectator barricades, more parking and more food options in the village, these are a few of the ideas flowing through to our desk post tour. Already we have also had several teams approaching us looking to secure invites for 2015. We need to look at our invites in context of our desire to incorporate at least a few teams from the Eastern States and a few from overseas. We are also conscious of the fact that securing a place sooner rather than later is relevant to the planning and sponsor procurement of our participating teams. It’s a nice problem to have with more teams wanting to race than we can cater for, but never the less it is a real problem and one that we will be looking into over the next few weeks. Two things that we can say for sure about 2015; The Pro-Am format will be back and we will be pushing out into the hillier areas of the greater Blackwood Valley. Feel free to send us your feedback and feel free to send us details of potential stages that you would like to see included in future tours.
He may have narrowly missed out on taking home the Satalyst Green Jersey to team mate Shannon Johnson, but Stephen Hall’s courageous effort to start and complete Stage 5 will remain one of the endearing memories of the 2014 Tour. The above podium picture celebrates his decisive victory on the final climb of Stage 2 just hours before his tour nearly came to a premature end during the sprint finish of Stage 3.
She may not class herself as a climber, but a decisive move on Stage 2 set Arbitrage Racing’s Rebecca Mackey up to win the tour’s Pink Jersey. Mackey didn’t have it all her own way though and had to see off strong challenges from team mate Cassia Higgs and up and coming star Erin Kinnealy. All three riders consistently showed the ability to break away from the women’s peloton during the tour. Mackey spent most of the final stage of the tour in a break with Kinnealy before riding away in the final kilometre to secure her third stage victory.