Edvald Boasson Hagen, Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett have all been named in Sky’s provisional line-up for January’s 2012 WorldTour season opener, the Tour Down Under.
Sky field a strong seven-man squad for the race that also includes Australian riders Michael Rogers, Christopher Sutton and Mathew Hayman. Rogers won the race in 2002.
American Danny Pate makes his debut for Sky at the race after switching from HTC-Highroad.
Sky’s 2011 double TdU stage winner Ben Swift has not been named on the team.
Boasson Hagen enjoyed a strong 2011 season, topped with two stage wins at the Tour de France. The Norwegian goes into the Tour Down Under as a strong favourite for the win.
“We are really excited about the inclusion of Edvald Boasson Hagen in the team,” said Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur.
“He is the current Norwegian national time trial champion for the fifth year running and a two time Tour de France stage winner. He is fiercely competitive, young and hungry for a win.”
The Sky team will be directed by Sean Yates.
Rabobank’s provisional squad has also been revealed, and comprises Luis Leon Sanchez, Michael Matthews, Tom Leezer, Mark Renshaw, Jos Van Emden, Graeme Brown and Wilco Kelderman.
The six-stage Tour Down Under takes place in and around the environs of Adelaide, South Australia, over January 17-22. The stage race is preceded by a one-day event, the Cancer Council Classic, on January 15.
The 2011 edition of the race was won by Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo).
Team Sky: Tour Down Under 2012 provisional line-up
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)
Mathew Hayman (Australia)
Danny Pate (USA)
Michael Rogers (Australia)
Christopher Sutton (Australia)
Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)