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It is tradition for Cycling Australia to announce the line-up of the UniSA team for the Santos Tour Down Under in the days after the nationals. It has taken a little longer in 2018 but this is the list of riders for that composite ‘wildcard’ team…

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There has been a bit of commentary about the selection of what are always hotly contested positions for the UniSA team at the Tour Down Under. It’s a chance for riders who are not part of the WorldTour to compete in the opening round of the UCI’s showcase road cycling series.

This year, an amendment in regulations was said to make the choice a little more confusing than usual.

After days with no communication from Cycling Australia, the federation has announced the line-up for UniSA for the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under.

The press release was issued at 10.00am today (Adelaide time) and includes the following list:


  • Scott Bowden (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
  • Zak Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy)
  • Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy)
  • Alex Porter (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
  • Timothy Roe (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
  • Steele von Hoff (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo)
  • Sam Welsford (Australian Cycling Academy)


RIDE Media published a hypothesis of who might be on the team yesterday afternoon. All the seven riders on our list were named today.

RIDE Media has sought comment from a number of people associated with the selection and will continue to report on any news or developments.

We wish all the riders selected for the team all the best for the upcoming race and look forward to following their endeavours.


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For more see:


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Unlike previous years, some riders who had shown the requisite form and commitment for selection were unable to join the team in 2018. RIDE understands that this relates to the insistence of the UCI that a new element of rule 2.1.005 be strictly adhered to, this relates to “international races and participation”.

There is a list of riders who are part of the RTP (Registered Testing Pool). This was last updated on 14 December 2017.

The under-23 road race champion, Cyrus Monk, was informed in a phone call last night that he was unable to be selected because of issues that relate to the RTP.

Monk, who competes with the Drapac-EF Holistic Development team in 2018, raced as a stagiaire for the Cannondale-Drapac squad last year. He had been promised a start in the national team for the Tour de Alsace, only for this invitation to be withdrawn by Cycling Australia just prior to the race. He also lobbied to be included in the under-23 team for the world championships in Bergen last year but was denied a place despite his willingness to fund his own way to Norway.

RIDE also understands that Monk had queried Cycling Australia about his anti-doping obligations during the 2017 season; he adhered to all stated requirements. At no point was he told that he had to make himself available for the RTP list.

Other riders were advised via email about their non-selection in recent days.

The announcement today is the first time any news about the 2018 UniSA team was relayed by Cycling Australia with the exception of the announcement of the women’s UniSA line-up for the Santos Women’s Tour.

(The 2018 UniSA women’s team is composed of: Katrin Garfoot, Shara Gillow, Rachel Neylan, Tiffany Cromwell and Lauren Kitchen.)

Zak Dempster was seen at Melbourne airport yesterday evening as he was about to board a plane, destination Adelaide, home of the race headquarters for the Santos Tour Down Under.

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Since we published the team confirmation, RIDE has received correspondence from Cycling Australia. Below is a statement from the CEO in relation to the selection of teams for WorldTour races.

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Statement from Nick Green

The UCI issued new regulations in 2017 that prohibited the inclusion of Continental teams and their development teams in WorldTour events and also specified that any athlete competing in a WorldTour event is in the UCI or domestic (ASADA) registered testing pool.
In changing our selection strategy to try to give increased opportunity for the leading NRS teams, it has become evident that some riders do not meet the strict UCI anti-doping testing pool requirements and therefore could not be considered for selection. 
CA is required to be up to date with all the UCI regulations and there is a gap here that we have to rectify.
This process will start around the time of Oceania Road Championships in March when the relevant stakeholders will work together to find a solution. The lines of communication between CA and UCI on this are now clear and we are continuing to discuss the matter with the UCI.  
The team selected is a quality team and we look forward to seeing them represent the green and gold. 
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UniSA won the team classification at the Santos Tour Down Under in 2017.

Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

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The team will be directed by Brad McGee who was also in the driver’s seat at the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under when the composite squad won the teams classification. The line-up last year included: Nathan Earle, Lucas Hamilton, Jai Hindley, under-23 national champion Sam Jenner, Cameron Meyer, Callum Scotson and Michael Storer.

Riders from this team traditionally help animate the race but it won no stages in 2017. The best-placed on GC was Nathan Earle in 11th place.

Michael Storer, now racing for Team Sunweb, was second in the youth classification (14 seconds behind Colombia’s Jhonatan Restrepo of the Katusha team).


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Nathan Earle (above) had a great nationals in both 2017 and 2018. He was part of the UniSA team last year and will be back at the Tour Down Under again in 2018.

Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

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RIDE Media will again be represented at the Santos Tour Down Under for the 2018 race. Since the inception of the race in January 1999, I have attended every stage and the intention is to keep this tradition alive for as long as possible.



– By Rob Arnold



(For reports about the race, be sure to stay tuned to www.ridemedia.com.au as well as RIDE’s various social media channels.)