Team Sky's young guns excited to hit the road Down Under

13 Jan 2018

Team Sky's young guns excited to hit the road Down Under

Team Sky’s young guns are excited to tackle the Tour Down Under, starting tomorrow with the now traditional pre-race People’s Choice Classic criterium.

The average age of the seven-man team is just 23 and will be led by 21 year old Egan Bernal, who will target the general classification at the six-day WorldTour event.
 
Sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen, 21, will have strong leadout support from fellow Team Sky debutant Chris Lawless, 22, Owain Doull, Jon Dibben and Lukasz Wisniowski.
 
Salvatore Puccio is the most experienced member of the seven-man lineup at 28 and will act as road captain.
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Brett Lancaster

Brett Lancaster

It’s a really young and exciting team and we’re keen to see how these guys develop.
Lawless can’t wait to start racing and believes the month-long block of racing and training Down Under will stand him in good stead.
 
He said: “I’m really looking forward to starting the season at the Tour Down Under. It will be the fourth time I’ve been out to Australia to race. Last winter was the only one I’ve missed out on since I turned under-23 and I seemed to miss it quite a lot.
 
“It’s always good to get out there and do a training block around the races – you get guaranteed good weather nearly every day. It’s a nice place to start the season. The roads are quick, rolling, and it makes it easy to get a lot of work done.”
 
Dibben hopes the group can hit the ground running in Adelaide and build some momentum to take through the season.
 
He said: “The average age of the team will be really young. There is a real young group and it should be good to build together, taking that momentum forward. You progress as a group and hopefully keep going higher.”
 
Sport Director Brett Lancaster has been tasked with marshalling the team in his native Australia and is excited about working with the youthful crop.
 
“It’s a really young and exciting team and we’re keen to see how these guys develop,” he said.
 
“We’ll be gunning to try and take a stage win. We’ve got Kristoffer as our lead sprinter. His form is a bit unknown coming straight from Norway and stepping off the plane into temperatures of close to 40 degrees.”
Kristoffer Halvorsen

Kristoffer Halvorsen

It suits me well as a first ever World Tour race.
Despite never racing in Australia before Halvorsen is optimistic about performing on the roads around Adelaide.
 
He said: “I’ve never been in Australia before so I think it will be really nice. The weather is really good and the stages are not too long, so it suits me well as a first ever World Tour race. Hopefully it will be really good.”
 
And Lancaster is looking forward to seeing how team leader Bernal performs in his first race for the team.
 
“Egan has already raced in a lot of big races,” he continued. “He’s no longer a neo-pro but he’s very young still. It’s going to be a really good chance to see where he is at, especially against the Australian riders who are in a home race and adapted already. We’ll see what happens come Willunga Hill and we’ll look to put him in a good position.”
 
The race will hit Willunga on stage five and, as in previous years, Lancaster expects it to decide the latest Tour Down Under champion.
 
He continued: “It’s Willunga again where the race should be decided. Stage four has a good climb too but it’s similar to what we’ve seen in recent years. That Willunga day will be interesting for sure.”
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