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The big prize of the NRS was to have five riders from the winning team start the next WorldTour race in Australia as part of the composite UniSA team… it’s not going to happen in 2018.

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We have already explained why the original aims of Cycling Australia’s intentions for the UniSA team are unlikely to happen when the Santos Tour Down Under begins. There are issues relating to a UCI regulation about participation in WorldTour races for riders with non-WorldTour registered teams.

Sorry Bennelong-SwissWellness but that promise? It’s not likely to happen.

There is a lot to consider and many theories floating around about how should be in the UniSA team this year and then there’s the bigger quandary of who could be in the team.

If a critical item from the UCI regulations had been explained when Cycling Australia was said to have been made aware of all this, it’s likely that all the appropriate measures would have been taken to allow the best possible line-up to be at the team presentation at Adelaide’s Victoria Square at 6.30pm on Saturday 13 January.

Never mind the question of who should be there, let’s now just consider the whittled down list and nominate seven names for the spots that are available.

Please note, this is not any formal team announcement, rather a hypothesis of who may make the cut for UniSA in 2018 – team many would like to be part of, many should be part of… but only seven will be part of.

In alphabetical order, let’s go with this lot:

  • Scott Bowden (TAS)
  • Zack Dempster (VIC)
  • Nathan Earle (TAS)
  • Alex Porter (SA)
  • Tim Roe (SA)
  • Steele von Hoff (VIC)
  • Sam Welsford (WA)


What do you reckon? Good riders, indeed! And there’s a mix of experience, youth, sprint and climbing prowess. It’s a solid selection… but it is far from the best of the Australian non-WorldTour riders at this point in 2018.

One is a mountain biker who raced the road race at the Olympic Games, two are from the Israeli Cycling Academy, two are from the track cycling program and three have links with the Bennelong-SwissWellness team…


We wait to see if this is, in fact, the line-up but it’s a list compiled with a bit of consideration. What are your thoughts?


– By Rob Arnold