UniSA-Australia to shine at Santos Tour Down Under
An exciting group of riders on the rise will represent Team UniSA-Australia at this month’s Santos Tour Down Under.
The team roster includes Adelaide’s Damien Howson, who last year won the U/23 road time trial at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand and secured a bronze medal in the same event at the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
Howson started competitive cycling at the age of 14 and first represented Australia as an U/19 rider at the UCI Junior World Championships.
Victorian Zakkary Dempster, West Australian Anthony Giacoppo and ACT cyclist Adam Phelan also feature in the Team UniSA-Australia line-up.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur says he looks forward to seeing them in action.
“Team UniSA-Australia always boasts impressive talent and the 2013 roster is no exception,” said Turtur.
“Howson has clearly shown he is a cyclist to watch, while Anthony Giacoppo will be looking to build on a strong 2012 season that included stage wins at the Tour de Taiwan and the Tour of Borneo.
“Adam Phelan also secured a 2012 stage win at the Tour de Taiwan and Zak Dempster added a Czech Cycling Tour stage win to his impressive list of achievements.”
Kevin Tabotta, National Performance Director, Cycling Australia believes the Santos Tour Down Under provides an excellent launch pad for young Australian road riders to showcase their talent on home soil in front of WorldTour team directors and is a crucial element in the development of our sport.
"Cycling Australia (CA) has pre-selected two U/23's (Adam Phelan and Damien Howson) and two elite riders (Zak Dempster and Anthony Giacoppo), with three more riders to be added after the road nationals in Buninyong,” said Tabotta noting that for the first time CA selectors will reserve three spots until after the nationals which end on 13 January.
“There is always great motivation from Australians to get a start in the Santos Tour Down Under with the UniSA-Australia Team, so the competition for places will be on show in racing all through January.
"The four pre-selected riders have had a great season and are all training to be at their best for the Tour and selectors are now looking forward to seeing who is in great form in January to fill the remaining three positions,” said Tabotta.
"Selectors aim to achieve a balance of youth and experience suited to the race with riders required to be at least in their second year of U/23 competition to be eligible and importantly, not already be a member of a UCI WorldTour Team,” he said.
University of South Australia Pro Vice Chancellor - International and Development, Mr Nigel Relph, says the university has enjoyed a proud 13-year association with the Santos Tour Down Under and that Team-UniSA Australia provides an excellent opportunity for Australia’s talented young cyclists to launch their international careers.
“As sponsors we are delighted to provide support for Team UniSA-Australia and to give up-and-coming riders a chance to shine in this international class event,” said Mr Relph.
“At the same time the Tour does a great deal to highlight good health and healthy lifestyles, with events like the Bupa Community Challenge Tour and Bupa mini tour for kids. As the biggest health educator in the state, this is a great fit for UniSA.
“We wish all the riders in Team UniSA-Australia a successful Santos Tour Down Under in 2013 and hope to see lots of support for them at each stage.”
The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 20 to 27 January 2013. On Sunday 20 January the world's cycling elite will contest an exciting 51km circuit race, the People’s Choice Classic as the curtain raiser for the six stage Santos Tour Down Under being raced over a total distance of 758.5km. For more information, race routes and results visit the official website.