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Jay McCarthy on the front of the peloton.
Sørensen to lead Saxo-Tinkoff at season opener
Young Australian Jay McCarthy will make his debut on the WorldTour circuit in January at the Tour Down Under. The neo-professional signed with the squad owned and run by Bjarne Riis in late 2012 and will line-up up at the first World Tour race of the year having already represented Australia in the National Team at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Talented Danish climber Chris Anker Sørensen will lead the seven-man team when the race kicks off with the People’s Choice Classic criterium along the streets of Adelaide. New recruit Timmy Duggan will also make his first appearance in the Saxo-Tinkoff colours having spent last season with Liquigas-Cannondale - before signing with the "postponed" SpiderTech squad.
"Chris Anker Sorensen will be our captain for this first WorldTour race of the season and I believe he has a solid chance of making a result for himself and the team on the climbs," said team director Fabrizio Guidi.
"We hope for a stage win and if you are right there in a finale of a tough stage you are also in with a chance of putting yourself up there in the GC."
The 51km circuit race will most certainly suit Jonathan Cantwell - who is entering his second year with Riis’ team and at the WorldTour. Cantwell finished in seventh-place in the race won by André Greipel last year.
"We have a fast man in Cantwell for the sprints and some strong riders for breakaways," said Guidi.
The early season race may not see Sørensen in the kind of form that propelled him to 14th-overall at last year’s Tour de France and the mountains classification at the Volta A Catalunya but the smaller length climbs may still favour the animated-style of the rider.
"This is my first time at the Santos Tour Down Under and, from what I have been told by other riders, this is a fantastic race so I'm really looking forward to pinning a number on my back and getting off to a good start to the new season," said Sorensen.
"I don't exactly know my form, but I feel pretty strong despite a break, and I'm definitely going there to try to make something happen," said the Dane.
New to the top league for 2013, McCarthy has most recently ridden the Sun Tour where he played a prominent role for the leader’s of the Australian National Team. It will be interesting to see how the all-rounded performs in the six-stage race having already clocked up a number of race days before the tour begins on 22 January.
"McCarthy is a very promising young cyclist who will be eager to impress in his first season with the team," said Turtur.
The Saxo-Tinkoff team for the 2013 Tour Down Under: Manuele Boaro (Ita), Jonathan Cantwell (Aus), Timothy Duggan (USA), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den), Jay McCarthy (Aus), Takashi Miyazawa (Jap), Chris Anker Sorensen (Den)