UniSA-Australia has finalised its squad for the Santos Tour Down Under, with Tasmanians Bernard Sulzberger (Raleigh) and Will Clarke (Champion System) earning the last two available spots thanks to their performances in the elite men's road race on Sunday, in Buninyong.
Clarke, who spent last season with Leopard-Trek, was one of the key animators of the 16 lap, 163 kilometre race. Despite lacking teammates he managed to get in several dangerous moves, and though unsuccessful in picking up the title, did pick up fifth place on the day as well as the sprint classification.
Sulzberger meanwhile showed impressive form on the climbs, nearly joining the winning move of Porte, Gerrans and Lloyd in the final laps. His January has gone from strength to strength carrying on from his showing at the recent Jayco Bay Classic series, where he finished fourth overall, fourth again in the criterium championship on Thursday, and tenth on Sunday.
One rider who will feel at least slightly aggrieved is West Australian Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys), who boasts arguably better results than Sulzberger over the past month. Giacoppo won a stage of the Bay Classic series along the way to finishing runner-up overall. He then came to Ballarat where he out-sprinted Mark Renshaw to the line to take out the criterium national title. He wasn't as active as Sulzberger was on Sunday, but in the end he did finish in front of him, in ninth.
Cyclingnews understand that the criterium championships are not considered in the selection process for the UniSA squad. According to a source within Cycling Australia, the elite men's road race is the key focus along with the previous year's performances in other road races.
The UniSA - Australia team for the Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, David Sanders and includes:
Bernard Sulzberger (Tas), Will Clarke (Tas), Steele Von Hoff (Vic), Jay McCarthy (QLD), Rohan Dennis (SA), Lachlan Norris (WA), Tom Palmer (NSW)
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Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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