Australian UCI Continental outfit African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team have announced its 2015 team roster with the signing of Massimo Graziato key to its ambitions for the upcoming season. The 26-year-old Graziato, who raced the 2013 Vuelta a Espana and several one-day classics during his two seasons with Lampre, will bring WorldTour experience to the team.
With African Wildlife Safaris looking to add more wins to its palmarès in 2015, the team has looked beyond its Melbourne base to attract the riders and staff it believes necessary to compete at a higher level. Will Walker joins the team as director sportif having retired earlier this year to a debilitating heart condition and adds further WorldTour experience in 2015.
The team will line up at the UCI 2.1 Jayco Herald Sun Tour and is looking to secure an invite to the UCI 1.1 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in February. Invites to races in Japan, China and South Africa will also be sought in 2015 as the team looks to maximise the benefits of its Continental license. A full National Road Series calendar has also been confirmed for 2015.
Graziato will be a protected rider on the team in 2015 with the Italian to be given the opportunity to pursue results and will receive support a a GC option. For sprint friendly parcours, Rico Rogers has been recruited for next season and adds further international experience to the young squad. German Michael Schweizer joins the team from Synergy Baku and will provide another option on flat stages.
Complementing the team are several riders who are expected to make a a big impact on the 2015 NRS with Sean Lake, the Grafton to Inverell winner, earmarked a future WorldTour rider while Oscar Stevenson will be looking to continue his progression as a GC rider.
2015 African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team roster: Jeremy Cameron, Tyson Chambers, Michael Crosbie, Massimo Graziato, Sean Lake, Patrick Lane, Cyrus Monk, Shaun O'Callaghan, Rico Rogers, Michael Schweizer, Alexander Smyth, Oscar Stevenson, and Darcy Woolley.