Santos Tour Down Under: Lineups confirmed for Tinkoff Saxo, FDJ.fr and Astana teams
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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Santos Tour Down Under: Lineups confirmed for Tinkoff Saxo, FDJ.fr and Astana teams

by VeloNation Press at 7:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Sorensen, Sutherland, Veikkanen, Westra and Gasparotto amongst riders announced

Nicki SorensenThe organisers of the Santos Tour Down Under have confirmed the lineup of three of the WorldTour teams which will take part in this month’s event. The rosters for Tinkoff Saxo, FDJ.fr and Astana have all been finalised, and are expected to play a big role in the results of the race.

Danish rider Nicki Sorensen will lead the Tinkoff Saxo team, with the 2009 Tour de France and 2005 Vuelta a España stage winner aiming to make the most of the opportunity to clock up a strong early-season result. He will spend much of this season riding for team leaders such as Alberto Contador, but will have more of a free rein in Australia.

He will be joined by Jay McCarthy and Rory Sutherland, two Australians who will be keen to impress on home soil, as well as the Danes Michael Andersen and Chris Juul Jensen, Russia’s Nicolay Trusov and the Slovakian Michael Kolar.

“Tinkoff-Saxo is bringing an exciting roster to the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under and Australia will be well represented with Jay McCarthy and Rory Sutherland,” said race director Mike Turtur.

“Aussie cyclists are always the crowd favourites here in Adelaide so it is fantastic to see McCarthy and Sutherland returning to the race.”

Meanwhile Finland’s national champion Jussi Veikkanen will aim for the overall victory in the race, the FDJ.fr rider fired up after taking a fine tenth overall in 2013.

“FDJ.FR always bring a competitive team to the Santos Tour Down Under and this the year their focus will be on supporting Veikkanen in his bid for the Ochre Jersey,” said Turtur, speaking about the team’s ninth appearance in the race.

Veikkanen will be joined by French sextet William Bonnet, Arnaud Corteille, Kenny Elissonde, Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier, Anthony Roux and Geoffrey Soupe.

As for the Astana team, the Dutch national TT champion Lieuwe Westra will compete in his first race for the squad after moving from the Vacansoleil DCM setup.

Turtur sees him as a rider who should be prominent. “Astana Pro Team is bringing a solid roster to Adelaide and Lieuwe Westra is an experienced addition to the seven-man team,” he said. “Westra had a brilliant season with the stage win at the Amgen Tour of California before going on to win the time trial at the Dutch National Championships.

Former Giro d’Italia race leader and 2012 Amstel Gold winner Enrico Gasparotto will also be part of the lineup as will his Italian compatriots Francesco Gavazzi, Valerio Agnoli and Jacopo Guarnieri, the Ukrainian Andriy Grivko and US rider Evan Huffman.

The team’s directeur sportif Stefano Zaninin names the team goals. “We are coming to the Tour Down Under with Gavazzi and Gasparotto to work for stages, and we are pleased to bring Dutch National time trial champion Lieuwe Westra to Australia for his first race in Astana Pro Team kit.”

The programme of racing begins with the People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide on January 19th. The WorldTour event then starts on January 21st with a 135 kilometre race from Nuriootpa to Angaston. Subsequent finishes will take place in Stirling, Campbelltown, Victor Harbor, Willunga Hill and Adelaide.

Latest team lineups confirmed for Santos Tour Down Under:


Tinkoff Saxo:

Nicki Sorensen (Denmark)
Jay McCarthy (Australia)
Michael Andersen (Denmark)
Nicolay Trusov (Russia)
Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark)
Michael Kolar (Slovakia)
Rory Sutherland (Australia)


FDJ.fr:

William Bonnet (France)
Arnaud Corteille (France)
Kenny Elissonde (France)
Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (France)
Anthony Roux (France
Geoffrey Soupe (France)
Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)


Astana:

Enrico Gasparotto (Italy)
Andriy Grivko (Ukraine)
Francesco Gavazzi (Italy)
Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands)
Evan Huffman (United States)
Valerio Agnoli (Italy)
Jacopo Guarnieri (Italy)


Stage details:

Sunday 19 January: People’s Choice Classic, Adelaide (50km)
Monday 20 January: Rest day
Tuesday 21 January: Stage 1, Nuriootpa to Angaston (135km)
Wednesday 22 January: BikeExchange.com.au Stage 2, Prospect to Stirling (150km)
Thursday 23 January: Stage 3, Norwood to Campbelltown (145km)
Friday 24 January: Bupa Stage 4, Unley to Victor Harbor (148.5km)
Saturday 25 January: Stage 5, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday 26 January: Stage 6, Adelaide (95km)

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