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Ballan to lead BMC at Tour Down Under

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Alessandro Ballan (BMC)

Alessandro Ballan (BMC) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) takes the win in Paris-Tours

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) takes the win in Paris-Tours (Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/

BMC Racing Team is the latest to announce its roster for the opening ProTour event of 2012, the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, which kicks off January 15.

With Tour de France champion Cadel Evans already opting out of his national event, it will be 2008 World Champion Alessandro Ballan who will take headline act honours for the team with his appearance for the second year running. Meantime, Adelaide-local Tim Roe will line-up for BMC for the second time at the Australian stage race, having risen to prominence as King of the Mountain classification leader for two days in 2010 riding for the UniSA team.

"The race is always honoured to have a past world champion ride among the peloton," said Race Director, Mike Turtur. "Ballan is one of the true gentlemen within our sport, always conducting himself as the consummate professional at all times.

"It is great to welcome Tim back to the race for the second consecutive year with the BMC Racing Team giving him the opportunity to perform well in front of a home crowd."

Roe said he was excited to be in the BMC Racing Team's seven man line up.

"It's not only my home race, but I train on many of the same roads in the race and it's always fun to ride in front of big crowds," Roe said. "They really get behind the race and make it a special welcome home."

Making his debut at the race, will be Belgian Greg Van Avermaet who will be looking to continue his hot run of form from the end of season 2011, having won Paris - Tours, finished as runner-up in the Italian classic, Giro del Piemonte. Mid-season, Van Avermaet claimed the first stage race victory of his career at the Tour de Wallonie.

"Australia is becoming a big cycling country," Van Avermaet said. "I'm looking forward to starting my season there. Hopefully, I can start the new season like I finished 2011."

The BMC Racing Team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under: Team Manager, Rik Verbrugghe (BEL). Riders: Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Adam Blythe (GBR), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Martin Kohler (SUI), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Tim Roe (AUS) and Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).

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