The UniSA-Australia team has announced their rider lineup for next year's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, including some powerhouse talent on the roster. The eight-man team includes South Australian rider Gene Bates and time trial specialist Ben Day, who has enjoyed a successful year with 13th in the elite men's time trial at the world championships, fifth overall in the Tour of Britain and sixth overall in the Rheinland Pfalz Tour in Germany.
Also in the line up is 2005 Oceania Continental Tour champion and silver medallist in the road race at this year's Australian Open Road Championships, Robert McLachlan. "I love the race because it's such a high standard of competition and great organisation," said McLachlan, who was tenth overall at this year's Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in January. "This year I was in the split that decided the riders who would contest overall honours but next year I'd love to win a stage."
Rabobank professional Matthew Hayman comes into the team after a 2005 season that saw him win the Sachsen Tour International in Germany and claim a third place on the opening stage of the Tour of Luxembourg. Hayman rode in the Australian world championships team, and along with Barloworld pro Sean Sullivan and Colombia-Selle Italia rider Russel Van Hout, there's a big engine for the UniSA-Australia team.
Bronze medallist in this year's Australian Open Road Championships road race, Paul Crake, has also been selected for the squad - the Canberra cyclist has been a real cycling revelation in 2005 and may well pull out a surprise come January. Chris Jongewaard joins the team for the South Australian race, having proven his versatility on and off road this year with the Oceania and Australian cross country mountain bike titles to his name and third on the stage 7 of the Herald Sun Tour.
The UniSA - Australia squad for 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under
Gene Bates, Ben Day, Robert McLachlin, Matthew Hayman, Sean Sullivan, Russell Van Hout, Paul Crake, Chris Jongewaard, Dave Sanders (Team Manager)