Wegelius: We have options for every stage at the Tour Down Under

Cannondale Pro Cycling squad suited to stage wins and top-10 overall

Cannondale Pro Cycling’s director Charly Wegelius is hopeful that his team at the Tour Down Under will be able to sprint for stage wins, perform well on the climbs, and maybe even surprise in the general classification.

“We selected a team that would provide us for options on every stage,” Wegelius said in a team press release. “Our specific objectives will be shaped on the road, but we have distinct roles in mind for every rider.”

The team will look to it’s new recruit Wouter Wippert in the sprints. While racing for Drapac in 2014 and 2015, Wippert won nine races incuding stage 6 in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under last year. He told Cyclingnews in a recent interview that he is hoping to start the season off in winning fashion with his new outfit.

The seven-man team also includes New Zealand time trial champion Patrick Bevin, Moreno Moser, Michael Woods, Alberto Bettiol, Simon Clarke and Ruben Zepuntke.

Wegelius said that Clarke will target the overall classification. He believes his rider could be among the top 10, while riders like Michael Woods will aim for strong performances during the hilly stages.

“In addition to having riders that could win on any stage, we have multiple riders that could contend for the overall,” Wegelius said. “This first race of the year is important for any team, and our riders come prepared and motivated.”

Wegelius is hoping that his team will fly under the radar, pointing out that teams with Australian powerhouse riders like BMC’s Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte carry most of the pressure ahead of and during the Tour Down Under.

“The home team and the teams with former winners start with big expectations,” Wegelius said. “We hope to profit off teams that have far more pressure than we do.”

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