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by Shane Stokes
January 6, 2018
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The EF Education First-Drapac team, previously Cannondale-Drapac, has announced its lineup for the Santos Tour Down Under, explaining the thinking behind the selection of the seven riders for the race.
Four of those are from the host country, something which Directeur sportif Tom Southam discussed. “We looked at Down Under and wanted to send the best possible team to this particular race,” he stated. “I’ve always thought you need Australians or neo-pros, which is who we have going.
“This year, we said, ‘OK, we’re just going to go with as many Australians as we can,’ which is good. They’re always in shape this time of year, which means they’ll be motivated. With those guys, we have a really nice team, quite well balanced.”
The lineup consists of the Australians Simon Clarke, Will Clarke, Brendan Canty and Mitch Docker, New Zealander Tom Scully, Logan Owen of the USA and the Spaniard Dani Moreno. Clarke is psyched in returning to the race. “Being Australian, the TDU is a very special race for me and I look forward to being there every year. Unfortunately after a broken shoulder at the Vuelta ‘16, I missed the last edition, so I am very eager to get back there this year,” he said. “It’s a great way to kick off the season as it is an extremely well-organized race and always has great weather. Plus, I’m excited and proud to pull on the new kit.”
Southam further justified the selection. “This race favours youth and enthusiasm. It favours someone who’s had an active offseason — which are Australians, basically. It suits the home riders massively. I’d be pleased to see us with two guys in the top 10 or better. That would be great, although it will be difficult to get.”