South African WorldTour team Dimension Data have announced its seven-rider team for its Tour Down Under debut next month with its three Australian riders all selected for the January 19-24 race. Cameron Meyer and Nathan Haas will provide the team with GC and stage win options on home soil while leadout men Mark Renshaw and Tyler Farrar are likely to have their own opportunities in the sprints.
The Tour Down Under will be Dimension Data's first as a WorldTour team following its successful application to join the top tier of the sport.
Meyer makes his first appearance in Data Dimension colours at the Tour Down Under next month having moved across to the team from Orica-GreenEdge and the 27-year-old recently told Cyclingnews that he will target GC at such races in early-2016.
"I wasn't quite done with having my own opportunities in one-week stage races. Coming to this team, I think I've got those opportunities. I can be a leader at the Tour Down Under or at the Tour of California and try for the general classification, which I think was going to be a bit more difficult with Orica," 2011 Tour Down Under champion Meyer told Cyclingnews.
Having finished fifth overall at the 2014 Tour Down Under, Haas offers the team a second option for GC or for hunting stage wins with several days suiting his characteristics.
For the second season in a row, Farrar will make his season debut in Australian but makes his return to the Tour Down Under for the first time since 2013 with fifth place on the final stage his best result of the race. The Tour de France stage winner should have his own chances in the sprints before looking ahead to the classics and leading out Mark Cavendish who makes his season debut at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong, one week after the Tour Down Under.
As a former stage winner at the race, Renshaw provides the team with further options for the sprint before he also turns his attention to delivering Cavendish to sprint stage success in 2016
South African's Jim Songezo, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg and Jaco Venter will all make their Tour Down Under debuts with Dimension Data.
Dimension Data for the 2016 Tour Down Under: Cameron Meyer, Nathan Haas, Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar, Jim Songezo, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg and Jaco Venter.
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