Rapha-Condor-Sharp riders Tom Southam and Dean Windsor will kick off the 2011 season early with an appearance at the Jayco Bay Classic series in Australia, which starts on Sunday, January 2.

Briton Southam and native Aussie Windsor will represent the British-based squad at the four-race series based in and around Geelong, Melbourne, host of the 2010 UCI Road World Championships.

Windsor, a previous stage victor and points classification winner at the 2008 Jayco series hopes to build form quickly to contest the Australian National Criterium Championships later in January.

The Rapha-Condor pair will line up against a squad from Team Sky, and several top Australian names such as RadioShack new recruit Robbie McEwen, HTC stalwart Mark Renshaw and Saxo Bank’s Baden Cooke.

Southam is hoping to get a flying start to the 2011 season after a blighted year as a result of breaking his elbow at the Lincoln Grand Prix in May.

“It’s probably going to be the hardest place I could imagine a return to racing, but getting going now, after so long, is very important,” said Southam.

The UCI’s new-look 2011 WorldTour calendar kicks off in Australia with the Tour Down Under in Adelaide from January 18-23. The participation of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo), Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) promises some fast finishes.

Related links

Mark Cavendish to start 2011 at Tour Down Under

Points mean prizes for Cavendish at Tour Down Under

Farrar to ride Tour Down Under

2011 World Calendar