Cannondale will join fellow WorldTour teams Orica-GreenEdge and Garmin Sharp at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts next Wednesday on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River. The Italian outfit who kicked off their 2014 season at the Tour Down Under, have identified Canadian sprinter Guillaume Boivan as their best chance for delivering the first success of the season.
The youngest rider on the team and the reigning world under-23 road race champion, Matej Mohoric, will make his debut at the race having made his professional debut at the Tour Down Under last week.
At the 2012 world junior championship Mohoric slipped away from the peloton and ahead of Caleb Ewan to claim the win. In 2013 at the U23 World Championships it was Mohoric claiming gold once again as Ewan came in fourth place.
The two riders are set to go head to head at the race but the 19-year-old Slovenian views the season as one of learning. "My goals for this season are not so much about results. I am very young and still need time to develop myself. So this year should be more about the learning and gaining experience," Mohoric said.
"This race means a strong start of the season, so I will return back to Europe with some racing kilometres in my legs. That should make racing a bit easier."
At 24-years-old, Boivan is another developing rider and returns to Victoria where he tied for the bronze medal at the under-23 world championships in Geelong in 2010.
Whilst the team will let the racing decide their overall leader, Boivan will the man for any final bunch sprints. "We can do a good general classification and we will try to win a stage with our sprinter Guillaume Boivin," team manager Biagio Conte said.
"We haven't the leader, yes for the sprint, but the road and the race will tell who will be the (general classification) leader.
Boivan and Mohoric are joined by 2013 New Zealand championship silver medallist George Bennett, 2011 Giro della Lunigiana champion Alberto Bettiol and 2011 Austrian road race champion Matthias Krizek.
Whilst it will be the majority of the team's first start at Australia's oldest stage race, their sole local ride Cameron Wurf will provide some valuable local knowledge.
"This will be my fourth Herald Sun Tour so and I have always loved coming back to race in and around Melbourne," Wurf said. "It's a race where you need to be alert as with the varying terrain and weather, the race situation can change in the blink of an eye so you don't want to be caught out."
The 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour begins on Wednesday 5 February with a twilight prologue and finishes on Arthur's Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria on February 10.
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