Lloyd and Bobridge head Lampre and Blanco teams for Santos Tour Down Under
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lloyd and Bobridge head Lampre and Blanco teams for Santos Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 5:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
Australians seeking success on home soil

Matthew LloydFormer Giro d’Italia King of the Mountains Matthew Lloyd is still trying to turn his career around in 2013 after several quiet seasons, but he believes that he could perform well in next month’s Santos Tour Down Under.

The 2008 national champion will head the Lampre-Merida team in the race, and will be joined by six Italian riders. He said that his form is coming. “I’ve been performing well throughout my training program over recent weeks, so will be aiming to be competitive in the stages suited to me,” he stated.

“It's important for me to start the new season well, even possibly with a result to give something back to the team and the many Australian fans that support me whilst on home soil.”

Lloyd will be joined by the sprinter Roberto Ferrari, Davide Cimolai, Elia Favilli, Daniele Pietropolli, Simone Stortoni and Manuele Mori in the race.

Ferrari will make his debut in the race and is psyched to clock up at least one stage win. “I’m motivated to deliver a strong performance as this is my debut with Lampre-Merida,” he said. “I am looking forward to competing against the world’s top sprinters.

“I am also keen to add to my collection of victories. Since starting my career I have won in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and I now have my sights set on Oceania!”

Race director Mike Turtur said that the course will give Lloyd a good platform for success if he is back to his best. “I know cycling fans will be eager to see Matthew tackle ascents such as Corkscrew Hill, which is the new Škoda King of the Mountain climb on stage two.”

Meanwhile the former Rabobank team will be headed by another well known Australian, Jack Bobridge. The latter missed last year’s race due to a crash in the national time trial championships and will be determined to make up for that lost opportunity.

He has moved to the Blanco Pro Cycling team and may have an additional reason to do well; proving a point to his former Orica GreenEdge squad.

Turtur remembers his first showing in the race three years ago and the fact that he was one of the most aggressive riders. “Bobridge is a great young rider who made his World Tour debut at the Santos Tour Down Under back in 2009 and is always popular with the crowds,” he said.

“He’s had a good season with a silver medal in the team pursuit at the London Olympics and silver in both the team and individual pursuit at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. The Santos Tour Down Under will be Bobridge’s first outing with his new team and without doubt he’ll be aiming for a strong start.”

Compatriot Mark Renshaw is also on the team and should be one of the strongest sprinters in the race. He will have Graeme Brown and David Tanner to support him, as well as the Dutchmen Tom-Jelte Slagter, Wilco Kelderman and Maarten Tjallingii.

The team has been through the mill this autumn, with Rabobank withdrawing from the sport in the aftermath of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team. Directeur sportif Erik Dekker said that the race marked a new beginning and that the riders would consequently be psyched.

“The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under will be a special race for the Blanco Cycling team, it is going to be a fresh, new start. The first page of a beautiful story will be written,” he said. “The team is committed to perform at the highest possible level in Santos Tour Down Under and is 100% focused and motivated.

“With four Aussies competing on home soil they will be aiming to perform well for their Australian supporters. Our two young riders Wilco Kelderman and Tom-Jelte Slagter, who are great cycling talents, will aim for a top ten result in the GC.

The WorldTour race will begin on January 22nd, but the programme will get underway two days earlier when the riders will compete in the 51 kilometre People’s Choice Classic circuit race in Adelaide.


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