Cannondale and Omega Pharma-Quick Step reveal Tour Down Under rosters
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cannondale and Omega Pharma-Quick Step reveal Tour Down Under rosters

by Ben Atkins at 3:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
WorldTour return for Brian Vandborg and Cameron Wurf; Andy Fenn to compete with the big name sprinters

Cameron WurfThe Cannondale Pro Cycling and Omega Pharma-Quick Step teams have named their seven-man line ups that will take part in the Santos Tour Down Under, the opening race of the 2013 WorldTour, between January 22nd and 27th. Both teams will be using the race to build momentum towards the European season, while hoping to pick up some results - and the valuable WorldTour points that come with them - along the way.

“Every time you enter a new season, the first race is always critical because you want to get off to a positive start and build momentum moving forward,” said Cannondale directur sportif Biagio Conte. “The competition level at Tour Down Under is high, especially for Australian riders that are advantaged in terms of preparation and acclimatisation."

The race will see a return to action for Italian Stefano Agostini, who has sat out the last five months through injury, while it will see a return to the WorldTour for Dane Brian Vandborg, and Australian Cameron Wurf (pictured), who spent last year at Spidertech p/b C10 and Champion System respectively.

“From our side, we have to be able to exploit all the possible chances to achieve a good result,” Conte continued. “We have a confident group of cyclists for this. We are very excited for what we think is going to be an outstaying season for Cannondale Pro Cycling.”

Omega Pharma-Quick Step meanwhile is taking a roster of riders that it hopes will be able to perform on the varied terrain that the Australian stage race presents.

andy fenn"We want to support the young strength of Andy Fenn [left], to keep working on his development as a top sprinter," directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke explained. "We will go with him to see how close he can get to Andre Greipel and other sprinters there. The team can also be strong in the uphill finishes. Serge Pauwels, Jerome Pineau and Peter Velits will be part of the team and will try to get as close to victory as possible.

Van Slycke hopes that the Santos Tour Down Under, and other early races this year, will set the tone for 2013, just as the earlier races did for the team in 2012.

"It's important because like we saw last year, the guys started very good in Argentina," he said. "It caused a kind of snowball effect. If we have a good result, the guys who go to Qatar for example will take over the steering of the season and try to do as good as we did. So, it's key to get a good start and gain confidence for everyone. It seems that we've done good enough in training to be competitive early. This is quite an important race."

The Santos Tour Down Under will be preceded by the People’s Choice Classic criterium on January 20th.

Cannondale Pro Cycling line up for the Santos Tour Down Under
Stefano Agostini, Federico Canuti, Alan Marangoni, Juraj Sagan, Cristiano Salerno, Brian Vandborg and Cameron Wurf

Omega Pharma-Quick Step line up for the Santos Tour Down Under
Andrew Fenn, Bert Grabsch, Serge Pauwels, Jérôme Pineau, Frantisek Rabon, Gert Steegmans and Peter Velits

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