Clarke to lead Orica-GreenEdge at Herald Sun Tour

Simon Clarke will lead a strong Orica-GreenEdge contingent at the 2015 Herald Sun Tour next week, with Clarke looking to defend his title in the five-day event that runs from 4-8 February.

Clarke, who won the king of the mountains jersey in the 2012 Vuelta a Espana, will be supported by former Tour Down Under Cameron Meyer, sprint sensation Caleb Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Sam Bewley and former U23 world time trial champion Damien Howsen.

"I'm really looking forward to returning to the Sun Tour," Clarke said in press release.

"We come back this year with high expectations to defend our title and you can expect to see us working hard to achieve that.

"As the defending champions you always have a slightly bigger target on your back but we are bringing a strong team, including four of us who have just ridden at the Tour Down Under, and I am confident we can get the job done."

With Clarke targeting the overall, Ewan will have a chance to gain further recognition in the sprint stages. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a fine start to the season but was not included in the Tour Down Under as he finds his feet in the professional ranks.

"I have been training pretty hard since the national championships and I think I'll be in even better form for Cadel's race and for the Sun Tour," he said.

"The aim for me is to get one or two stage wins on the flatter circuits before we concentrate on general classification."

Orica-GreenEdge will field the same line up at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on February 1.

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