Porte to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard at Tour Down Under

Giro d'Italia sensation looks to do well in homeland race

Richie Porte will lead the Saxo Bank-SunGard team in the Tour Down Under next month It will be the Australian's second appearance in his homeland race but his first as team leader of Bjarne Riis' team.

"Porte has come a long way since he competed at our race in 2008 with the UniSA-Australian national team," race director Mike Turtur said.

Porte, 25, burst onto the scene in his neo-pro year of 2010 in the Giro d'Italia. He wore the leader's maglia rosa for three days and finished seventh overall in his first Grand Tour, as well as winning the best young rider ranking.

"For Porte to win the young rider classification and to lead the Giro d'Italia for three stages is an exceptional achievement in a Grand Tour, especially in his debut year as a professional. He's a huge talent and could be Australia's next big hope for the Grand Tours after Cadel Evans retires."

The Saxo Bank-SunGard line-up for the Tour Down Under will also include fellow Australian Baden Cooke and Argentinean sprinter Juan Jose Haedo. "Both Cooke and Haedo are great sprinters and their presence adds to the strongest field of sprinters ever assembled at the Santos Tour Down Under," Turtur said.

"Saxo Bank-SunGard is coming to Adelaide with a very strong team and some great sprinters and they are obviously hoping to have a successful start to their WorldTour season."

Saxo Bank-SunGard for the Tour Down Under: Richie Porte (AUS), David Tanner (AUS), Brian Vandborg (DEN), Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), Sebastian Haedo (ARG), Nicki Sorensen (DEN) and Baden Cooke (AUS).

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