American sprinter Tyler Farrar will be backed-up by an all-Antipodean support team for Garmin-Cervelo’s inaugural WorldTour outing at the 2011 Tour Down Under later this month.
Along with sprint hope Farrar, Garmin-Cervelo will be represented by New Zealander Julian Dean and Australians Jack Bobridge, Brett Lancaster, Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer and Matt Wilson.
Farrar will come up against sprint rivals Briton Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and German Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) for the first time this year. Greipel won the Tour Down Under overall last year for former team HTC.
It will be the first time that the three sprinters have truly raced head-to-head since Greipel moved from HTC to Omega Pharma. Despite its early spot on the calendar, when riders are not up to their best form, the presence of the ‘big three’ sprinters will surely lead to some explosive stage finishes in Adelaide.
“I’m excited to kick off my 2011 season at the Tour Down Under,” said Farrar.
“It’s a great race and the worlds best will be there competing, I’m proud to be a part of it. We’ll be bringing a strong team to Australia and we’ll be looking at all kinds of opportunities.”
Farrar had a strong season in 2010, with two stage wins apiece in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and a successful defence of his 2009 win at the Vattenfall Cyclassics. He also managed to finish top three on a couple of Tour de France stages despite nursing a fractured wrist.
The 2011 Santos Tour Down Under is an six-stage race based in and around Adelaide, South Australia. The race kicks off on Tuesday January 18 in Mawson Lakes and concludes with a circuit-based stage around Adelaide on Sunday January 23. A one-day warm-up race, the Cancer Council Classic, takes place on Sunday January 16.
2011 Tour Down Under: Stages
Sun Jan 16: Cancer Council Classic
Tues Jan 18: Stage one – Mawson Lakes to Angaston, 138km
Weds Jan 19: Stage two – Tailem Bend to Mannum, 146km
Thurs Jan 20: Stage three – Unley to Stirling, 129km
Fri Jan 21: Stage four – Norwood to Strathalbyn, 124km
Sat Jan 22: Stage five – McLaren Vale to Willunga, 131km
Sun Jan 23: Stage six – Adelaide City Council Street Circuit, 90km