MELBOURNE _ The only factor bigger than GreenEDGE’s presence in the Bay Classic cycling series will be the pressure on the new team to perform.
Australia’s first WorldTour team will make its much-anticipated debut from today in the four-race classic _ starting with twilight racing on New Year’s Day at Geelong _ which traditionally opens the domestic cycling year.
GreenEDGE will be the main story of the next month as it also enters a big team in the national road championships at Ballarat and then makes its official WorldTour debut in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under.
It will have two teams in the men’s elite classic series, with defending series champion Matt Goss leading the GreenEDGE line-up.
Legendary sprinter Robbie McEwen and rising star Leigh Howard will also be in that five-man team.
Its Mitchelton Wines team will feature Baden Cooke and Allan Davis, who also have impeccable sprinting credentials.
But the depth of talent in Australian cycling means the two GreenEDGE teams will face formidable opposition.
Former series winner Chris Sutton will lead the strong Urban Hotels team.
The Bike Bug line-up will include Tour de France stage winner Heinrich Haussler and Steele Von Hoff, a rider who dominated sprint finishes in the 2010 domestic season.
Degani will feature New Zealander Greg Henderson, another sprinter with a strong record in this series.
“When you go out there you always want to do well, but I think everyone is going to be super motivated to do well especially (with it) being GreenEDGE’s first race,” Goss said.
“Hopefully it doesn’t take us too long to get the first runs on the board.
“It would be nice to get a win on January 1.”
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