Rohan Dennis has been confirmed to lead the Garmin Sharp team at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under. The recently named South Australian Sports Star of the Year, who crashed out of the Australian national time trial on Wednesday, will be accompanied by fellow Australians Nathan Haas, Lachlan Morton and Steele Von Hoff.
Dennis was forced to withdraw from the 2013 Tour Down Under due to a virus on the eve of the race having finished second in the National Time Trial Championships the week before. He went on to win the 2013 Tour of Alberta and claim the young rider classification jersey at the Critérium du Dauphiné which included a stint in the yellow jersey.
Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said the 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist would be looking forward to racing in front of his home crowd.
"More than 760,400 people enjoyed the 2013 Tour Down Under and we know support for local riders is always fantastic," Turtur said.
"It's great to see such a strong group of Australian riders representing Garmin Sharp at the first UCI WorldTour race of the year."
Victorian Steele Von Hoff enjoyed a successful 2013 season, finishing second in the National Criterium Championships and third in the National Road Race Championships. Von Hoff, who won the national criterium championships on Thursday night in Ballarat and placed eight in the road race, will enter the race in good form.
Teammate and New South Welshman Lachlan Morton took out the young rider classification at both the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Tour of Utah will return to the race having entered the 2013 edition.
"Lachlan also won stage three of the Tour of Utah, the biggest win of his career so far and proof he’s a rider to watch," Turtur said.
Continuing the Southern-Hemisphere theme of the team will be the presence of New Zealander Jack Bauer who was second in his country's national road race on Sunday.
The Garmin Sharp team for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by sport director Geert Van Bondt with the following riders: Jack Bauer, Thomas Dekker, Rohan Dennis, Caleb Fairly, Nathan Haas, Lachlan Morton and Steele von Hoff.