Mareczko to lead CCC Team in first race at Tour Down Under

Jakub Mareczko will lead the CCC Team at the Tour Down Under in January, where Jim Ochowicz's set-up - formerly BMC Racing - will be making their racing debut in their new identity.

Ochowicz may have lost half his roster but, after investment from the owner of the old Polish CCC Sprandi Polkowice team, the show is on the road and he has set a target of 20 victories in what feels like a debut season given the changes in personnel, colours, and equipment.

While the team is geared almost exclusively around classics star Greg Van Avermaet, Mareczko - an Italian of Polish descent - is the sole sprinter and will be expected to contribute in a team that does not have a true stage race leader.

Ochowicz has spoken about trying to compete for GC in some week-long stage races but they will have no one targeting the overall in Australia.

Instead, Mareczko will be charged with trying to get that ball rolling and starting that all-important collection of WorldTour points.

"In Australia, in the sprints I am the leader, and the guys will work for me. I hope I can get a win," he told Cyclingnews.

Mareczko, steps up to the WorldTour with CCC after four seasons at Wilier-Triestina. At 24, he has more than 40 victories on his palmarès already, though most have come in lower-level races outside Europe. He has 18 stage wins at the Tour of Taihu Lake, seven at the Tour of Hainan, six at the Tour du Maroc, and three apiece at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and Tour de Langkawi.

However, he has shown he can rub shoulders with the best. Last year he was twice a runner-up behind Fernando Gaviria at the Giro d'Italia, beating the likes of Andre Greipel, Sam Bennett, and Caleb Ewan, while at this year's Giro he grabbed another second place behind Elia Viviani.

"Here I'm in a big team, and actually I hope to do well in more difficult and better races. At the moment I don't know how it will go, but now I must try with the best sprinters in the world, " said Mareczko, who hasn't yet finalised his Grand Tour plans.

"Here all guys have the opportunity to do well, after Greg finishes his races in the classics. All guys have the opportunity to win. I hope to do that, and we'll all try to reach the 20 wins that Jim said."

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