World individual pursuit champion and newly crowned Australian Criterium champion Beck Wiasak will be a guest rider with the Holden Team Gusto squad at this year’s Tour Down Under, set to get underway tomorrow.

Riding as an individual entrant at the National Road Titles, Wiasak was able to make the most of her sprint prowess and take the gold medal in the Criterium, with Holden Team Gusto’s own Kimberley Wells home in third.

Wiasak will debut a special custom made National Criterium Champion jersey on Sunday’s fourth and final stage after Andy Portess and his team at Seight Sports burned the midnight oil to make it happen.

Beck Wiasak: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to race the Tour Down Under as a guest with Holden Team Gusto. My focus in 2018 is on qualifying for the track team for the Commonwealth Games and the Track Nationals next month, but this is both a great racing opportunity for me and an opportunity as part of my physical build up to the Commonwealth Games.”

“The team clearly has some inform riders as shown at the recent Road Nationals and I’m looking forward to supporting their goals. It will also be great to test myself against some of the best road riders in the world. Most of all I can’t wait to showcase my new green and gold jersey in the Stage Four Criterium on Sunday!”

“Holden Team Gusto has been one of the mainstays and most competitive domestic teams, who always put up a good fight. The team is capable of putting riders on the podium this week.”

The addition of the two time world individual pursuit champion alongside two time Australian Criterium Champion Wells gives Holden Team Gusto huge sprint firepower.

Racing alongside the two world class sprinters will be Grace Brown who netted her first National Road Titles podium on her third attempt. Team Captain Erin Kinnealy and new team mates ex World Tour pro Carlee Taylor and former New South Wales Institute of Sport rider Nicola Macdonald also set to get well involved in the all-important battle for General Classification supremacy.

Julien Knuppel, Team Directeur Sportif: “After the nationals campaign, we’re really keen to get amongst it with the World Tour teams. We’ve punched above our weight at the Nationals and now we get to see how we go against the very best the world has to offer. With the addition of Beck, we believe we have the firepower in sprint stages to be on the podium.”

“Our GC chances rest with Grace and Carlee and we’ll just see how the race pans out. It’s one of the longer tours of the year, so we’ll do as the cliché demands- take it one stage at a time!”

The Santos Tour Down Under gets underway this Thursday with Stage 1 (Gumeracha) starting at 11am

Stage guide: