16-26 January 2020 / Adelaide, Australia

UniSA-Australia releases men's roster
11 December 2018

Team Announcement presented by Suzuki Motorcycles

Neil Van Der Ploeg

Above: Chris Harper [Pic: Con Chronis via Cycling Australia]

CYCLING Australia has today announced six of the seven riders racing in the UniSA-Australia team at the Santos Tour Down Under in January.

Leading the team will be Victorian cyclist Neil Van Der Ploeg (Team Bridgelane) who brings experience from two past editions of the race (2014, 2015).

Oceania champion and 2018 FedUni Road National bronze medallist Chris Harper (SA) along with 2019 Tour of Tasmania winner Dylan Sunderland (NSW) will bring their climbing skills to the table.

While Ayden Toovey (NSW), winner of two NRS Tours and third place at 2018 NRS, and Jason Lea (VIC) who stood atop the National and Oceania under 23 podium three times in 2018, will prove themselves as all-rounders.

Nick White (VIC) has been named as the sixth member of the team after finishing second overall in the 2018 National Road Series.

“I am ecstatic, this has been a race I have watched since I first started cycling and up until a few weeks ago I never thought it would be a reality that I would someday be able to ride it, I am still pinching myself!” says White.

“I aim to be able to help out the team wherever I can and try to make this the most successful UniSA team to date.

The final team member will be announced after the FedUni Road Nationals in January.

Cycling Australia’s Performance Director, Simon Jones, explained when the women’s team was announced last week that the race is crucial for building the professional future of these cyclists.

“These teams support the ongoing development of athletes who are on an upward trajectory within the Cycling Australia performance pathway,” says Jones.

“We know that the route to being a world-class road rider takes time, persistence and patience. Our framework for future success supports athletes and teams, and this selection process supports our overall strategy.”

Ahead of their 18th year of partnership with the Santos Tour Down Under, University of South Australia’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, is looking forward to seeing the team race in the 2019 edition.

“We have sponsored this event since 2001 and it just gets better every year,” says Prof Lloyd.

“We’re especially happy to be the sponsors of the Australian men’s development team at the tour because it offers young riders the chance to test and prove their abilities in a pro-tour event and to an international audience.

“And history shows many of the riders use this as a springboard to a career in professional cycling.

“We want to wish them great success and let them know there are a crowd of Team UniSA-Australia supporters out there who will be cheering them on.”

UniSA-Australia team roster

Chris Harper (South Australia)

Jason Lea (Victoria)

Dylan Sunderland (New South Wales)

Ayden Toovey (New South Wales)

Neil Van der Ploeg (Victoria)

Nick White (Victoria)

The final member of the team will be announced following January’s FedUni Road Nationals.


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