Tuesday is the first stage of the 24th Tour Down Under, a six-stage race to kick off the 2024 UCI WorldTour. Two Canadians from Israel-Premier Tech will be lining up in Tanunda, South Australia, 2023 Giro d’Italia revelation Derek Gee and Guillaume Boivin.
𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 🙌
We’re counting down the days to the start of the @tourdownunder 🇦🇺
— Israel – Premier Tech (@IsraelPremTech) January 3, 2024
The women’s edition concluded on Sunday with Sarah Gigante conquering Willunga to win the GC.
The race brings back Willunga Hill for 2024; the riders will climb it twice in the final 26 km including the traditional summit finish. Not only will Willunga go a long way in crowning the 2024 champion, but also the next day’s three ascents of Mount Lofty. Tuesday’s opening stage is made up of three circuits around Tanunda, each with a Cat. 4 climb.
Reigning champion Jay Vine of UAE-Emirates won’t be defending his title. This leaves the door wide open for last year’s runner-up, Simon Yates, to claim his first home tour. Yates’ competition will be Jack Haig, Finn Fisher-Black, Laurens De Plus, Julian Alaphilippe and Ruben Guerreiro.
Last year Gee was 34th in the Tour Down Under. In 2020 Boivin came in 95th. It’s unclear when the other Isreal-Premier Tech Canadians–Michael Woods, Hugo Houle and Riley Pickrell–will be starting their seasons.