The line-up for the 2013 Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy was unveiled today in the Australian capital, Canberra.
Headlining the squad is up-and-coming sprint sensation Caleb Ewan, and London Olympic representative Alex Edmondson. Alex Clements, Campbell Flakemore, World Championship under-23 ITT bronze medallist Damien Howson, Brad Linfield, Alex Morgan, Mitch Mulhern and Adam Phelan complete the team.
This year's squad is the first to be treated to the focus producing athletes ready for the rigours of the UCI WorldTour, with Australian cyclists turning professional at a younger age than ever before. It's a deliberate move to educate athletes, parents and other interested parties about the road to the top level of the sport, including racing at a representative level at the Olympic Games and World Championships.
As previously reported, the development team is no longer registered at a UCI Continental level with the shift back to a truly National team, not seen since 2005.
"We are always keen to implement new methodology and structure to our programs to ensure we are growing the high performance environments, and evolving to handle the current international scene," said Cycling Australia High Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta.
"The Academy will provide increased international racing opportunities for our emerging talent and will also provide room for Australian UCI continental and NRS teams to have a greater involvement in the development of these young athletes.
"Additionally, this structure will help ensure that athletes stay motivated, professional and challenged throughout the long season. There will be great upward pressure, with riders on the fringes challenging for spots."
The team's first event will be this week's Oceania Championships in Canberra, which get underway on Thursday. The European season for the Jayco-AIS WorldTour Academy begins at the Giro del Belvedere in Italy on April 1.
A women's team will be announced following the Oceania Championships and opening events of the 2013 National Road Series. A squad will then travel to Europe in June.