2011 Tour Down Under champion Cam Meyer will headline the UniSA-Australia wild card team for the 2017 edition of the Australian WorldTour stage race next week after his strong showing at the Australian national championships. The 29-year-old is currently without a trade team as he eyes of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the track but adds experience and quality to what is a young team for the six-stage race.
The already announced quartet of U23 riders, Lucas Hamilton, Jay Hindley, Callum Scotson and Michael Storer, will be joined by 19-year-old Sam Jenner and Nathan Earle. The UniSA-Australia team have ridden each edition of the Australian stage race since 2001 and will be the sole wild card entrant for 2017.
"He's obviously a former winner of the race and he's had a distinguished career on the road and track," Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said. "He's a class all-rounder, but he can mix it on the climbs in our race and the small group sprint finishes will be ideal for him.
"This is a great opportunity (for Meyer) to get a good result here, and he has a young, strong team around him."
The 2017 Tour Down Under will be Meyer's seventh of his career with the Western Australian to pursue his personal ambitions at the race and guide his younger teammates to a good showing. The race will be Meyer and Scotson's first on the road after the duo rode the London and Gent Six-Day races last year.
Earle, 28, will likewise play a key role for his younger teammates, several of whom are making their WorldTour debut's, with the former Team Sky and Drapac rider to act as a road captain.
Victory in last Saturday's U23 Australian national road titles sealed Jenner's place in the team and he will be one of the youngest riders in the peloton at just 19. Jenner, Callum Scotson, the U23 time trial champion, Hindley, and Storer will all be making their WorldTour debuts at the Tour Down Under but with Meyer and Earle on the road and Brad McGee in the car as director sportif, they will be aiming to continue the aggressive racing displayed by the team since 2001.
The Tour Down Under takes place in and around Adelaide, South Australia, from January 17-22 with the stage 2 finish at Paracombe and stage 5 finish at Willunga Hill, likely to determine the overall standings. Before the WorldTour racing gets underway, the riders will have a pre-race hit out with the People's Choice Criterium on January 15.
UniSA-Australia for the 2017 Tour Down Under: Cam Meyer, Nathan Earle, Lucas Hamilton, Jay Hindley, Sam Jenner, Callum Scotson and Michael Storer.