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by Mark Zalewski
December 2, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chris Froome to start his 2017 season in Australia at Cadel’s Race and the Sun Tour; Gaimon begins retirement by hunting banned rider’s Strava KOMs; Paddy Bevin on his WorldTour debut: ‘I took a bit of a beating’; UCI and Wanda Sports sign partnership to transform cycling in China; Shane Sutton on short list for Cycling Australia high performance director job; Tom Veelers announced retirement due to ongoing knee injury; Why not Froome as BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year?; Peter Sagan Wins Velo D’Or; Hayman backs Matthews’ team move for green jersey aspirations; Wiggins listed on British Cycling’s 2017 podium programme; Cylance Pro Cycling names men’s roster; No Grand Départ for Portsmouth in 2019, but hopes for a future bid; Controversy brewing over grant for Irish government head’s cycling club; Colombian cycling photographer Horacio Gil Ochoa.
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) will again begin his season in Australia, lining up at two Victorian races in early 2017. Froome will take part in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday January 29 — his first time at the one-day race — before returning to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour (February 1-5) as defending champion.
Froome began his 2016 season at the Sun Tour and won the race overall with a solo victory on the final stage summit finish at Arthurs Seat. Starting his season in Australia worked well for Froome, with the Kenyan-born Briton going on to win his third Tour de France later in the year.
“I love riding in Australia. The weather is great and the crowds always come out in force to support the riders. That makes it all the more enjoyable,” Froome told the Herald Sun. “It’s always tough racing and a really strong, competitive field — so it’s an ideal way for me to kick off my year.
“I took a similar approach last year and felt it was a great way to set up my season.”
Froome’s attendance at the two Victorian races comes a week after Orica-BikeExchange revealed that Esteban Chaves will start his 2017 season in Australia. The 26-year-old Colombian, who in 2016 won Il Lombardia and finished on the podium at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, is set to race the Santos Tour Down Under (January 15-22), Cadel’s Race and the Sun Tour.
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