Team GreenEdge is making part of Australian cycling history, debuting as the country’s first division-one team at the 2012 Tour Down Under. Ahead of the race next week, the team was presented today in Adelaide.
“Australia had its moments: Olympic gold medals on the track, Classics and Cadel Evans’ Tour de France win last year,” General Manager Shayne Bannan said today. “This has to rank right up there.”
GreenEdge is one of 18 ProTeams in the UCI’s first division, the WorldTour.
Bannan joined sports director, Matt White, and the team’s seven cyclists for the Tour Down Under: Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Luke Durbridge, Simon Gerrans, Leigh Howard, Matt Goss and last year’s winner, Cameron Meyer. Other team cyclists also attended while the remainder stayed abroad training for the new year.
Goss and Gerrans will lead the team for the Tour Down Under overall classification. Goss will mainly aim for sprint stages, as he hopes to do later this year in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
White said that GreenEdge and Sky will likely have competing sprint trains in the Grand Tours.
“Goss is not a pure sprinter, but he comes into it when it’s a harder race. He climbs quite well. If Cavendish is at the Giro, our chance will be on the stages with the climbs close to the finish,” White said.
“Two trains? Ours will be different to theirs. The tricky situation [at the Tour] is that they have to deal with a podium contender [Bradley Wiggins]. It’s tricky to manage those two goals. We don’t have to worry about that and can put all of our resources into Goss.
“I doubt Cavendish will finish the Tour, it’s more important for him to be ready for the Olympics.”
Cavendish and Goss raced together for the last two years at HTC-Highroad. Goss won Milan-San Remo last year and in 2010, won a stage in the Giro.
GreenEdge named Goss as part of its 30-man roster for the new year. He is one of the star riders, joined by home legends McEwen and O’Grady and 13 foreign riders.
“It’s a dream come true,” said O’Grady. “I was hoping and praying an Australia team would come along while I was still a pro.”
The team also presented its women’s team with star rider, German Judith Arndt.