An impressive team of BMC Racing Team riders will join Australian Tour de France winner Cadel Evans at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under in January.
The seven-man roster announced today includes Belgian rider Ben Hermans, who recently signed with BMC Racing Team for the new cycling season.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said fans could look forward to another action-packed Santos Tour Down Under.
“Cadel has his sights set on victory at the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and will be keen to start the season well to work towards this goal,” Mr Bignell said.
“BMC Racing Team is one of the best-known teams competing at the Santos Tour Down Under and riders are sure to receive a warm welcome as they travel around our beautiful state.”
In addition to Evans and Hermans the team roster features US rider Brent Bookwalter, who won the two opening stages of this year’s Tour of Qatar, finishing second overall in the event.
Swiss riders Steve Morabito and Danilo Wyss will also represent BMC Racing Team in South Australia.
“The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will revisit popular destinations such as the gruelling Menglers and Willunga hills, as well as featuring a range of new challenges,” Mr Bignell said.
“I’m sure we will see strong performances from all of the BMC Racing Team riders competing, plus plenty of passion from fans excited to have Cadel Evans back racing on home soil.”
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said he looked forward to watching Evans tackle the diverse race routes and tough competition.
“Overall victory is there for the taking and I expect riders will be kept on their toes until the very end,” Mr Turtur said.
BMC Racing Team President and General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the team had always enjoyed the high level of competition at the Santos Tour Down Under.
“We look forward to the challenge in 2014 as Cadel will back with the rest of team in the heat of the battle,” Mr Ochowicz said.
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said the team had high hopes for Evans.
“It will be a pretty difficult race for one at the beginning of the season. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are hard, so it will be important to start well,” Mr Baldato said.
“It’s important to have a strong rider who is prepared for the race. In Cadel, we have the best rider to make a result.”
The BMC Racing Team competing at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by manager Fabio Baldato and includes riders Brent Bookwalter (USA), Cadel Evans (Australia), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Amael Moinard (France), Steve Morabito (Switzerland), Danilo Wyss (Switzerland) and Rick Zabel (Germany).
The Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 19-26 January 2014. Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for all event information.