Riders from 2017 National Road Series champions Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo will headline the UniSA-Australia team for the Santos Tour Down Under, from January 16-21.

The team, to be managed by Andrew Christie-Johnson, offers a unique opportunity for a host of Australia’s rising stars plus several experienced hands to contest the opening WorldTour race of the 2018 season against some of the best in the world.

Rio Olympian Scott Bowden (TAS), track world champion Alex Porter (SA) and former WorldTour ridersSteele von Hoff (VIC) and Timothy Roe (SA) make up the Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo quartet.

“The Tour Down Under is my favourite race of the year, it is my home race, I train on these roads almost every day, so to be able to race in front of my family and friends makes it a perfect way to start the season,” said Roe, who returns to the race that kick-started his professional career after impressing as part of the 2010 UNI-SA outfit.

“Gaining another start in the Tour Down Under has been a goal of mine as it has played a big part in my cycling career,” said Roe. “It is a fantastic race to re-enter the World Tour here at the Tour Down Under was where I first got noticed by BMC Racing Team before signing with them in 2011.”

Reigning team pursuit world champion and Olympic silver medallist Sam Welsford (WA-Australian Cycling Academy) will continue his development on the road having spent time with the national team in Europe in 2017.

Israel Cycling Academy’s Zak Dempster (VIC) and Nathan Earle (TAS) complete the team, with both bringing important WorldTour experience to the youthful squad.

“We have excellent riders that can compete at the World Tour level and fight for wins. I want to target the overall general classification – top ten is a goal of mine to show that I can still compete at this level,” Roe added.

Celebrating its 20th edition in 2018, the Santos Tour Down Under attracts the biggest names in the sport, with the six-stage race offering sprinters, opportunists and climbers opportunities to claim an early win.

UniSA-Australia Team for Santos Tour Down Under
Scott Bowden (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
Zak Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy)
Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy)
Alex Porter (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
Timothy Roe (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
Steele von Hoff (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
Sam Welsford (Australian Cycling Academy)