Six riders have been confirmed for the Australian National UniSA team racing in the upcoming Tour Down Under, with the seventh being decided on January 13 at the end of the Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat. The rider who wins the elite men's road race will automatically be added to the team.
The 2008 Australia National UniSA team will be made of Allan Davis (QLD), Luke Roberts (SA), Karl Menzies (TAS), Wesley Sulzberger (TAS), Matt Wilson (VIC) and Simon Clarke (VIC). If the winner of the men's road race of the national championships is already listed to ride the Tour Down Under, race selectors will include a rider who posts an outstanding performance in either the road race or time trial.
Mike Turtur, race director of the Tour Down Under, said he was thrilled with the team line-up so far. "In their own right the quality of the 2008 Australian National UniSA team is as competitive as any UCI ProTour team," he commented. Queensland's Allan Davis, the only rider to have ridden all 10 editions of the race, placed second in this year's Milano-Sanremo classic and is a dual Tour Down Under stage winner.
South Australia's Luke Roberts will join the UniSA team with credentials as a Tour Down Under past stage winner and 2004 Olympic Champion in the teams pursuit. Karl Menzies was second overall at the 2007 Tour Down Under, and Matt Wilson is the reigning Herald Sun Tour champion.
Simon Clarke, the 2007 Tour Down Under Best Young Rider and Wesley Sulzberger, silver medallist in the U23 road race at this year's World Championships, will be the youngsters of the team but with the potential to shake up the race.
The UCI ProTour 2008 Tour Down Under will be staged January 22-27, 2008, with the Down Under Classic being held on Sunday, January 20, 2008, at Glenelg.
For more information visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au.