Katusha-Alpecin announce 2017 Tour Down Under team

Machado leads youthful squad for WorldTour opener

Katusha-Alpecin will start the 2017 WorldTour season at the Tour Down Under with a versatile squad that includes Tiago Machado, former U23 world champion Sven Erik Bystrom and Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo. No Russian riders will make the trip to Australia for Katusha-Alpecin with representation from six different nations.

"We are looking forward to welcoming the Katusha Alpecin team back to South Australia and expect them to put on a great performance for the fans after a strong 2016," said race director Mike Turtur. "Tiago Machado will show his competitive streak after being awarded two combative jerseys across two stages at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.

"It will be interesting to see  what Dutch rider Maurits Lammertink can do on our course as he will be a rider to watch making his debut with the Katusha Alpecin team. This year he took victory at the Tour de Luxembourg, where he was also recognised as best young rider."

The 2017 Tour Down Under starts January 17, with the People's Choice Classic criterium providing riders with an opportunity to test their legs first, with stage 1 from Unley to Lyndoch. The then concludes January 22 with a city circuit race around the Adelaide CBD. The race is likely to be decided on the queen stage up Willunga Hill where Richie Porte has won the last three years.

Machado, 31, has been a regular at the Tour Down Under with third place overall in 2012 his best overall result. He is again looking to start his season strongly as he explained.

"I'm looking forward to returning to the Santos Tour Down Under," said Machado. "The last few years at the race have given me great pleasure. This time I want to do my best to land as far as possible in the General Classification. Team Katusha Alpecin has an interesting team with some of our new riders at the start."

Lammertink is one if three riders who will make their debut with the team at the Tour Down Under, alongside new signings Jose Goncalves and Baptiste Planckaert. Experienced Spanish rider Angel Vicioso rounds out the international roster for Katusha-Alpecin.

Katusha-Alpecin for the 2017 Tour Down Under: Tiago Machado, Angel Vicioso, Jose Goncalves, Maurits Lammertink, Baptiste Planckaert, Sven Erik Bystrom and Jhonatan Restrepo.

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