The southaustralia.com-AIS team has announced its roster for the 2007 Tour Down Under, which will be spearheaded by 25-year-old Gene Bates. The South Australian outfit is aiming for a successful start to its 2007 season on home soil at the TDU. "Our major goals are stage wins and a high overall finish," said team director Brian Stephens. "I don't know if we can win it but we'll certainly give the competition a fright."
Stephens hopes that Bates will build on the form and benchmark he set at last year's event where the South Australian finished fifth in the general classification. "I'm expecting big things of Gene," said Stephens. "He is always around the mark and is as geed'up as anything to be racing at home with his new team."
Bates will be supported by reigning Tattersall's Cup Champion, Wesley Sulzberger, the Australian Madison Champions pairing of Queenslander Miles Olman and Victorian Simon Clarke.
"Wes is a good 'up and comer' who had a great year in the domestic series winning stages and overall honours in the Tour of Gippsland, three stages of the Tour of Tasmania and the Peace Cup in Canada." said Stephens. "Miles was second behind Wes in Gippsland and Simon, who was the best U21 rider in the Giro delle Regioni always performs well."
Nic Sanderson has been designated as the outfit's sprinter with fellow Victorians Jonathon Clarke, Michael Ford and Johnnis Walker, brother of Rabobank's William, rounding out the roster.
Complete TDU roster:
Gene Bates (SA)
Jonathon Clarke (Vic)
Johnnie Walker (Vic)
Simon Clarke (Vic)
Nicholas Sanderson (Vic)
Miles Olman (Qld)
Michael Ford (Vic)
Wesley Sulzberger (Tas)