Fresh off of presenting their new kit for 2018, BMC Racing have announced they’ll be kicking off the WorldTour season in some style in Australia in January.
The Tour Down Under hails the start of cycling’s top flight on January 16, and the American team will be taking three former winners to the race in their line-up.
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Richie Porte will make his first WorldTour appearance since crashing out on stage nine of the Tour de France in July, and enters the race as defending champion after crushing the competition in the 2017 edition.
While Porte has only won the overall once, he’s taken victory on the key stage of Old Willunga Hill on the last four occasions.
He’ll be riding alongside the 2016 winner and four-time champion of the race Simon Gerrans, who joined BMC from Orica-Scott for the 2018 season. At 37, Gerrans may not be the favourite in line for another overall victory, but his experience and consistent form in the race each year will still make him a threat.
Completing the hat-trick of former winners is Rohan Dennis, who won the overall in 2015 with BMC. After a relatively quiet 2017 season, Dennis will be looking to kick off his season well as he aims for a potential tilt at the Giro d’Italia title in May.
As you might expect, Australians tend to go pretty well in their home race in January. It probably helps that it’s summer Down Under right now, but they’ll also be building towards their national championship races, which take place shortly before the Tour Down Under begins.
“The Santos Tour Down Under is one of our key races of the season and we’re excited to go there with the formidable team that we have,” said BMC Racing general manager Jim Ochowicz.
“I don’t think we have ever started with such an impressive line up and with Richie Porte as our captain, and former champions Rohan Dennis and Simon Gerrans at his side, both of whom are obviously capable of winning the race themselves, we are in for a great start to the season.”
The trio of former winners will also be joined by current Aussie road race champion Miles Scotson, New Zealander Patrick Bevin and the Swiss pair of Tom Bohli and Danilo Wyss in the seven-man line-up.
The Tour Down Under 2018 takes place between January 16 – 21.