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The first World Tour race of the 2012 season is just weeks away, and the final rosters for the event are coming together. Over the past days Saxo Bank, Garmin-Cervélo and FDJ-Big Mat have confirmed the riders who will toe the line in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under.
Saxo Bank will bring two Australians to the race, Luke Roberts and newcomer Jonathan Cantwell.
"It will be great to see Cantwell make his debut with Saxo Bank at our race. With 37 victories in his career, most in Australia and the US, it will be interesting to see the impression he can make on the WorldTour stage in 2012," said race director Mike Turtur.
Saxo Bank's team will also include two-time Tour de France stage winner Sergio Paulinho and Takashi Miyazawa, who will be the first Japanese rider in the history of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Saxo Bank for the Tour Down Under: Sergio Paulinho, Anders Lund, Luke Roberts, Jaroslaw Marycz, Jonas Jorgensen, Jonathan Cantwell, Takashi Miyazawa
Garmin-Cervélo has confirmed its previously announced squad for the Australian race. New director Allan Peiper will bring young riders Nathan Haas and Jack Bauer along with experienced sprinters Heinrich Haussler and Robbie Hunter plus strong men Ryder Hesjedal, Andreas Klier and Martijn Maaskant.
Garmin-Cervélo for the Tour Down Under: Ryder Hesjedal, Jack Bauer, Robbie Hunter, Nathan Haas, Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier, Martijn Maaskant
Turtur also announced a competitive line-up from FDJ-Big Mat, who will field a former Tour Down Under best young rider, Sandy Casar, along with powerful sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich, and experienced Frenchman Frederic Guesdon, a former winner of Paris-Roubaix.
"Sandy Casar is an extremely accomplished rider, with three Tour de France stage wins to his name, as well as winning the Route de Sud in 2005," said Turtur.
FDJ-Big Mat for the Tour Down Under: Sandy Casar, William Bonnet, Arnaud Courteille, Frederic Guesdon, Yauheni Hutarovich, Jeremy Roy, Jussi Veikkanen