Defending champions Orica-GreenEdge have announced their line-up for the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under with last year’s winner Simon Gerrans leading a squad that includes double national champion Luke Durbridge and Matt Goss.
“We’re bringing a strong team, and we’re hoping to pick up a stage win,” said sport director Matt Wilson.
“Gerrans has free reign to have a crack at the overall. Last year, winning the Tour Down Under felt essential. This year, we’re taking a different approach. Wins at the Tour Down Under are now one of many goals for our second season.”
While Gerrans concentrates on the overall title, Matthew Goss will take on Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Andre Greipel (Lotto) in the sprints, with Daryl Impey and Jens Mouris forming the sprinter’s core leadout.
“On the days where it’s a sprinter’s race, Gossy will be there,” said Wilson. “He’s a past stage winner at the Tour Down Under and has finished high up on the overall classification in previous years. He’s our man for the sprints.”
The race also marks Wilson’s first steps as a director. The team fired Matt White last year for his involvement in USADA’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. White had directed the previous two winners of the race, navigating Gerrans to a narrow win last year, and also Cam Meyer to another title at Garmin in 2011.
“This is really exciting for me,” Wislon said. “I’ve done this race 12 times as a rider. I know the stages inside out. To come here as a director will be a completely different experience, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”
In his first WorldTour directing role, Wilson is eager to set realistic expectations.
“There’s obviously a lot of attention around the team at the Tour Down Under,” said Wilson. “It’s to be expected. There aren’t that many chances during the year for the Australian fans to see us, talk to riders and cheer for us roadside. Everyone likes a hometown win. It’s up to us to do what we will with that pressure.”
Orica-GreenEdge for Tour Down Under