The new Cannondale-Garmin team has announced its roster for the Tour Down Under with Ryder Hesjedal as the leader. LottoNL-Jumbo and IAM Cycling have also confirmed their teams for the 2015 season's first WorldTour race, which takes place from January 20-25.
Hesjedal last rode the Tour Down Under in 2012 when he went on to win the Giro d'Italia.
"We are looking forward to seeing Hesjedal compete here again," said Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur. "He's making a welcome return to our peloton after last opening his season here in 2012 before going on to win a Grand Tour later that same year."
Joining Hesjedal is Nathan Haas who was fifth overall last year and is looking forward to returning to the race.
"The TDU is not just another race for us, it's a way to take on the new year with new ideas and renewed motivation," said Haas. "As an Australian it takes on extra meaning, and after fifth place last year I have unfinished business with that podium. We are very motivated for a strong race."
"Haas performed really well last year crossing seventh, just 17 seconds behind stage winner Richie Porte, on the Willunga Hill stage finish," said Turtur. "His performance was noticed and it will be interesting to see how he tackles the same climb this year."
Completing the line up is Lasse Hansen, Jack Bauer, Alex Howes, Moreno Moser and Davide Villella.
IAM Cycling will make its debut appearance at the race in its first season as a WorldTour team, with two Australians selected in Heinrich Haussler and David Tanner. Former winner Martin Elmiger returns to rac,e with Stef Clement, Roger Kluge, Jarlison Pantano Gomez and Vicente Reynes also making the trip down under.
The Dutch LottoNL-Jumbo team, who were known as Belkin last year, will be backing New Zealander George Bennett for a high overall classification finish.
Cannondale-Garmin for the Tour Down Under: Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Nathan Haas (AUS), Lasse Hansen (DEN), Jack Bauer (NZL), Alex Howes (USA), Moreno Moser (ITA) and Davide Villella (ITA).
IAM Cycling for the Tour Down Under: Martin Elmiger (SUI), Stef Clement (NED), Heinrich Haussler (AUS), Roger Kluge (GER), Jarlison Pantano Gomez (COL), Vicente Reynes (ESP) and David Tanner (AUS).
LottoNL-Jumbo for the Tour Down Under: George Bennett (NZL), Bert Lindeman (NED), Timo Roosen (NED), Barry Markus (NED), Martijn Keizer (NED), Maarten Tjallingii (NED) and Rik Flens (NED).