Specialized raises wildlife relief funds alongside Tour Down Under range

The brightly coloured collection harks to the Australian Budgie

Specialized creates a new collection to coincide with the Tour Down Under each year, but for 2020 it is combining the new colourway with a donation to a wildlife relief organisation in light of the devastation of Australian forests.

The bright blue, green and yellow hues used on the Specialized Allez Sprint Disc frame and supporting kit take their inspiration from the Australian Budgie. However, with this bird, and much of Australia's wildlife suffering from the destructive effect of bushfires,  the brand is also donating $100,000 to support relief efforts.

The cash will go to WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation; volunteers from the charity attended over 3,300 rescues in December and 20,000 calls were made to the organisation.

The final total on the damage is yet to be established, but ecologists at Sydney University have estimated that over 800 million animals have been affected in New South Wales, rising to over 1 billion animals in Australia since September.

The Women's Tour Down Under begins on January 16, with the men's race kicking off on January 21. Being the first World Tour race of the year, it's typically the first opportunity for teams to show off their 2020 bikes and gear.

The race in Adelaide, South Australia is set to go ahead as planned, though minor road repairs are said to be needed.

Some sections of road need resurfacing, and race organisers told Cycling Weekly that dangerous and at-risk trees that could fall onto the course will also be removed next week.

In the women's race, the big red S' flag will be flown by the Australian Specialized Women’s team, with both Deceuninck – Quick-Step and BORA-Hansgrohe representing in the men's peloton.

The men's teams are expected to race the Allez Sprint frame in the Schwalbe Classic crit, held ahead of the stage races on January 19.

>>> Tour Down Under start list 

To mark the occasion, Specialized has created a limited run of celebratory items. The 'Down Under' paint job has been applied to an Allez Sprint Disc frameset, as well as a pair of S-Works 7 shoes and the Evade II helmet (as well as the Prevail outside the UK).

The kit remains at the same price as standard colourways - with the bike coming in at £1349, shoes at £340 and helmet £230.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.