2024 starts at the Tour Down Under

The season’s first race can’t come soon enough for our seven riders

January 10, 2024

It’s been three months since we last kitted up for WorldTour racing, so we are more than excited to kick off the 2024 season at the Tour Down Under.

Lining up this year, we have Stefan de Bod, Owain Doull, Jack Rootkin-Gray, Jonas Rutsch, Archie Ryan, Harry Sweeny, and Jardi van der Lee. It’s a young roster infused with experience. Sport director Tom Southam says this was by design.

“We’ve got a pretty fresh roster. Only one rider has done this race with us before, Jonas. Owain and Stefan have both raced it but on different teams. It’s all quite fresh. We’ve got three neo-pros – Jack, Jardi, and Archie – which is exciting. It’s a really good race for them to start at. It’s quite an exciting race and they should be able to be competitive, even the neo-pros. It’s not overly complex technically-speaking so there’s quite a bit of space for them to have a chance to develop and grow. Mixed in with those guys, we’ve got riders like Owain and Harry – even though Harry’s never done the race before – tons of experience, stable hands, very strong riders. It’s a really good mix. I want the guys to have the freedom to race hard and to enjoy the first race,” Tom says.

With six stages coming up at the Australian race, the course features circuits, as well as sprint- and uphill-finishes, all set against a backdrop of beaches, panoramic peaks, and wine country. And hopefully a koala or two.

Hear from our riders below ahead of our first race of 2024.

Archie Ryan

I’m really excited, really, really excited. I’m super happy to be here, starting the season, starting my first race with the team. Like I said, super excited. We’ve got a good bunch of boys this year as well so it should be good fun.

There are four of us that are new here on the team but we all gelled together already. It feels natural already and we’re only a couple of days in. I’m having a good time. I’m really excited to get the season started. I can’t wait. If I could fast forward to stage one, I would. I just want to race!

Harry Sweeny

I’m feeling pretty good actually! This is my first Tour Down Under. I’m pretty excited. I’ve got my family here. The course looks nice and the race is nice so I'm really excited in general. It’s also nice to start off on a good foot with a new team. We have a nice team here — a young team — and it’s pretty dynamic so I’m really excited to get started.

Jack Rootkin-Gray

I’m a bit nervous but really excited to do my first WorldTour race and to race with the team. I’ve really enjoyed being here in Australia. It’s a great place to be in January because Europe’s weather is not that great at the moment. I’m really grateful to be here with these guys. It’s a great group we’ve got here. Good fun and good banter. I’m just really excited to get going!

Jardi van der Lee

I’ve prepared for this race with some crit races and lots of intervals to get into a rhythm at the higher end so I’m feeling good right now. I had a really good winter with no problems. It’s very different here in Australia. It’s a different time zone and different weather. The sun is shining here and back in my home country of the Netherlands, it’s cold and they’re ice skating! So this is really different for me but I like the heat and it’s very nice to be here.

Jonas Rutsch

I’m excited to be there because for me it’s always a nice way to kick off the season by racing in Australia. Nice atmosphere, good weather, good roads, good coffee. That’s pretty much all I need. We have a different team this year, a pretty young team. I’m now one of the more experienced riders we have at this race so now I get to show something to the younger guys.

Stefan de Bod

I’m really happy to be at a race with such perfect conditions. I was last here in 2020 so I’m happy to be back. It’s been a long time since I last raced the Tour Down Under. Good roads. Good vibes. A nice, new team. I’m just really looking forward to starting the season.

Owain Doull

I’m feeling really good coming into the race. It’s good to be back in Australia. I’ve been here since the 28th of December so I’ve had time to get used to the heat. I’ve come out with my partner and my little girl so it’s a mixture of a training camp for me and a holiday for them. Plenty of time on the bike for me and plenty of time at the beach for them. It’s a great place and I’m really fond of it. I’ve really enjoyed getting some solid work done in the sun.

I’m excited to kick off 2024. The Willunga Hill stage is always a good one. It’s always really well supported by fans, as all the stages are.

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