Good news from Australia, where Orica confirmed a two-year extension as title sponsor of the eponymous WorldTour team, and a new women’s race will be organized to coincide with the Santos Tour Down Under.
Team officials confirmed that Orica will remain a sponsor of Orica-GreenEdge and Orica-AIS through the 2016 season.
The Australian mining company stepped in as title sponsor in 2012 with a three-year deal. The two-year extension through 2016 gives Australia’s first WorldTour team a solid financial base moving forward.
“We’re delighted to be extending our naming sponsor agreement with Orica,” said team owner Gerry Ryan. “The company has been the ideal partner, helping put the team on the map in professional cycling. We have come a long way thanks to the support of Orica.”
Tour Down Under officials announced a four-day women’s event to coincide with the men’s WorldTour calendar opener, set for January 17-20. The Santos Women’s Tour will be part of Cycling Australia’s Subaru National Road Series, and include $10,000 in prize money. The event should attract top Australian racers, with Orica-AIS and a composite Australian team already securing invitations.
The race will open with a road race stage across the Adelaide hills, followed by a criterium at Rymill Park. A third stage will conclude at Campbelltown, with a final-day criterium around Victoria Park.
“We’re thrilled to see the Santos Women’s Tour included in Cycling Australia’s Subaru National Road Series and know there will be fierce competition for the inaugural title in January,” said Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur.