Tour Down Under: 2011 winner Meyer and Goss lead impressive GreenEdge team
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tour Down Under: 2011 winner Meyer and Goss lead impressive GreenEdge team

by Shane Stokes at 6:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian team unveils its aces for home WorldTour event

Cameron MeyerDefending champion Cameron Meyer and world road race championship runner-up Matt Goss will lead what is a very strong GreenEdge team in the Santos Tour Down Under, making it possible the new team could win the first UCI WorldTour event of the year.

Meyer showed his strength with a superb performance last January and with one stage finishing on Willunga Hill, will have a platform to defend his title. Goss’s Milan San Remo victory shows that he can both sprint and climb and after finishing second overall last year, just two seconds behind Meyer, he is motivated to take the race.

In truth there are a number of contenders on the all-Australian team. There are two other past winners in the lineup, with double victor Stuart O’Grady and the 2006 champion Simon Gerrans also confirmed. The team is completed by one of the world’s best-ever sprinters, Robbie McEwen, the up and coming Leigh Howard, and Australian road race champion Jack Bobridge.

The quality is such that none of those riders fit into a domestique role, although McEwen and O’Grady are the oldest and may opt to use their experience to help seal a big result early on for the team.

Team manager Shayne Bannan has put together an impressive lineup, and is determined to do as well as possible. “We’re obviously really proud to have such a great line-up for our first race on the WorldTour,” he explained.

“The riders we have selected reflect the various scenarios that could very well play out in the race. We’ll have a good chance of being up there in the sprints, but with the new stage finish on Willunga Hill, we also come prepared for a different style of racing.”

The team recently secured a UCI WorldTour licence in its first attempt and will field a large number of riders in the Australian road race championships. The official team strip will be unveiled at some point after that, most likely on the eve of the Santos Tour Down Under.

After that, the riders will strive to impress in the one chance of the year to compete at WorldTour level at home. “Having our debut in Australia is exciting. It’s a race that has gone from strength to strength over the last few years,” said Bannan. “We are trying to honour that by bringing a really competitive roster.

“It will be a hard race, but we have a good chance to put GreenEDGE on the map in our first big international competition… We are really looking forward to kick starting the WorldTour with a great race to show that the team is here to compete at the highest level.”

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