American ProTour squad Garmin-Slipstream will contest October’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Melbourne, Australia, after being named as one of the first squads for this year’s edition. Perth youngster Cameron Meyer will contest the event alongside Trent Lowe and Chris Sutton, with Julian Dean also likely to make the team’s roster.
Garmin-Slipstream sport director Matt White said the event is important for gauging the development of its younger riders. "To be able to win on the biggest stage, like at the Tour de France, you need to learn how to win at races like this,” said White. "The career of Simon Gerrans is a perfect example. He put a lot of pressure on himself to win the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which he did in 2005 and 2006, and has since gone on to win a stage at both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia."
The course for this year's race will kick off in Ballarat on October 11 and go through Colac, Warrnambool, Apollo Bay, Anglsea, Baron Heads and Geelong before a twilight final-stage circuit race on Lygon Street in Melbourne on 17 October.
"With no big mountain stages the race is going to be very tactical and makes having a strong team even more important," said White, a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong at U.S. Postal Service. "With that in mind plenty of thought will go into exactly who we bring down for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and those selections will be made with the objective of taking the overall honours.
"The plan at the moment is to have New Zealand's best ever cyclist Julian Dean part of the team,” added White. “[Dean] is just so valuable in a tough race like this, and most likely some of our feisty Dutch riders who are really well suited to this year's course."
Garmin-Slipstream will confirm its full roster closer to the October event.