ORICA-GreenEDGE to light up Santos Tour Down Under

12 January 2015

An aggressive mindset and stage win aspirations will drive a strong seven-man ORICA-GreenEDGE squad at the Santos Tour Down Under starting next week.

Australia's 2011 Santos Tour Down Under champion Cameron Meyer, 2012 Vuelta a Espana king of the mountain Simon Clarke, 2013 Australian champion Luke Durbridge, 2014 national time trial champion Michael Hepburn and vital team leader and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Mathew Hayman will all line up in their home WorldTour race.

Joining them is New Zealand’s Sam Bewley and South African Daryl Impey.

"The Tour Down Under is a big race for us," sport director Matt White said.

"We always look forward to racing at home for our Australian fans and putting on a show for them. This year will be no different.

"The aim this year is to try and win a stage and to animate the action.

"We might be going in without our defending champion but, like the national championships, it’s a time for our guys to step up and prove that we are a multidimensional team and that we can win at all stages of the year even without some of our key riders."

A strong ride by the team in yesterday’s Australian championship and Bewley’s impressive ride for fourth at the New Zealand championship sees White confident in the team's form ahead of the first WorldTour race of the season.

"Everyone in our team raced on Sunday except for Daryl Impey and they all proved they have prepared well over the past couple of months and are ready to chase the goals we are going to set for the Tour Down Under," White said.

"Daryl is coming from South Africa, so he is coming from summer as well, has been to the race multiple times before and is also looking for a strong start to the season.

"I am really happy with the group we have assembled."

Despite much speculation about 2015 Australian road race silver medalist Caleb Ewan, White says the team is looking at the bigger picture for their neo-pro sprinter.

"Caleb has a program that I am very confident will get him wins during the season," White explained.

"Yes, he is in great shape at the moment, but he has only two weeks until he races again in the Cadel Evans Classic.

"We are definitely looking big picture for Caleb with his goals for the year and his long term future which is why he will not be lining up in Adelaide."

The Santos Tour Down Under begins with the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday, 18 January before the six-stage main race begins on Tuesday, 20 January.

Race director Mike Turtur is looking forward to the return of ORICA-GreenEDGE and past winner Meyer.

"We can’t wait to see ORICA-GreenEDGE take to the start line to compete," Turtur said.

"Being an Australian UCI WorldTeam ORICA-GreenEDGE has a huge fan base here and we know they will all be cheering roadside for their favourite riders.

"It is also great to see Cameron Meyer back in the mix and this year he will be joined on the start line by three other previous winners in Martin Elmiger (2007), Luis Leon Sanchez (2005) and Michael Rogers (2002)."

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