Four days of thrilling racing at the Women’s Tour Down Under has finished with an almost unchanged general classification and Dani King in fourth place at the start of her first road specific season.
A fast paced crit race circling 1.2km laps in Adelaide lent a win to High5 Dream Team rider Kimberley Wells, with Wiggle High5’s Annette Edmondson in second and overall leader Katrin Garfoot in third.
Orica-AIS’ Garfoot claimed the leader’s jersey at the end of stage one, and has held on to it ever since. In GC second was Shelley Olds (Clyance Cycling) followed by Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) and Dani King (Wiggle High5) narrowly missing out on the podium.
As well as hosting the overall winner, Orica-AIS also took the team prize, with Wiggle High5 in second.
Olympic track champion King suffered a crash in the final kilometre of stage three, caused by her chain jamming in the mech, but she still retained her Polka-Dot climber’s jersey.
The 25-year-old was told last year not to expect British Cycling selection for the track at the Olympic games, which cemented her decision to focus her attentions on the road. This early season success suggests the choice will pay off.
Speaking to TWC in October, King told us: “I’ve never ever had a full season on the road before so I can really focus on the specifics through the winter and just get stuck in at the beginning of the season.”
One of those specifics was a focus on climbing – an important factor in the course for the upcoming Olymics in Rio, where King hopes to support Lizzie Armitstead. King told us: “I can get over climbs, it’s just a case of training for the specifics. I’m going to get away in the winter and do some warm weather training camps – Mallorca, Lanzarote, the places where they’ve got the longer climbs.”
After her success in Australia, King said: “My aim is make the road team for Rio. Obviously I haven’t had a full season on the road before. I need to make an impression early. It’s also my first time training on the road through the winter. It’s good to know that my program has worked. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. It’s a good sign that I’ve won the KOM jersey for sure.”
The training has clearly been working, and we can’t wait to see more amazing Dani King performances as the season progresses. Check out this guide to the major events in the women’s cycling calendar so you know what to watch and when.