Team Sky name strong squad for season-opening Tour Down Under
Last Updated: 11/12/12 2:39pm
Edvald Boasson Hagen: Norwegian will look to improve on his seventh-place finish in 2012
Team Sky will kick off their 2013 campaign by taking a strong squad to the season-opening Tour Down Under.
The Adelaide-based event will once again be comprised of six stages, running from January 22-27, with the People's Choice Classic criterium acting as a precursor to the action on January 20.
Representing the team at a race that has traditionally been a successful one for Team Sky is a squad with an eye on next year's Spring Classics.
Edvald Boasson Hagen returns to Australia looking to improve on seventh place in 2012 and, alongside former stage winner Chris Sutton, will head up the team's sprint ambitions.
Experienced hand Mathew Hayman will be an assured presence in the role of road captain next to Bernhard Eisel, while a trio of Brits in Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas round out the seven-man line-up.
The race holds special memories for the squad, with the opening criterium in 2010 providing Team Sky with their first-ever victory in their debut appearance.
The British outfit will not be the only team taking a strong squad, though, with world champion Philippe Gilbert being joined by Alessandro Ballan for BMC and RadioShack-Nissan expected to name 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck in their line-up.