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by Matt de Neef
November 28, 2016
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Cant, van der Poel victorious in Zeven CX World Cup; Von Hoff, Garfoot win the Stan Siejka Classic; UCI rebuffs plans to reduce team sizes in big races; Lachlan Morton set to make his WorldTour return at the 2017 Tour Down Under; Peter Velits announces his retirement; UniSA-Australia to be the only wildcard team at the 2017 Tour Down Under; American Justin Oien completes Caja Rural-Seguros roster; Lizzie Williams on her battles with mental illness; A sneak-peek at Bahrain-Merida’s jersey for 2017; Michael Matthews set to appear on Slovak TV; Argy bargy in the Flandriencross.
In the past two years, there have been two wildcard teams at the Santos Tour Down Under: the UniSA-Australia national team and the Drapac Pro Continental team. With the Drapac Pro Conti team closing its doors at the end of this year and putting all its resources into the Cannondale-Drapac WorldTour team, Australia no longer has a Pro Continental-registered team which TDU organisers can invite.
Race director Mike Turtur has told Cyclingnews that it will likely just be the UniSA team that joins the 18 WorldTour teams in Adelaide in January.
“There are many high quality international Pro Continental teams, but our budget restricts us in the number of teams we can have start and there are also other considerations with the hotel and tour village in terms of logistics and number of teams we can handle,” Turtur said. “It is not just a matter of making a decision based on a quality team and giving them a wildcard. There are a lot of other considerations that need to be made, especially when it comes to budgeting and also logistics.”
Turtur said that if another Australian Pro Conti team did spring up, it would get an invite to TDU.
“Our policy is that if there is a Pro Continental team registered in Australia that we would wildcard them without question,” he said. “If we have more than one, the higher ranked team of the two will get the wildcard. That is our policy and that is what we have in place now. That goes without saying if we did have another Australian team they would be wildcarded. No problem.”
Follow the link to read more at Cyclingnews.