Patrick Bevin to lead CCC Team at Tour Down Under

28-year-old Kiwi returns to Australia with unfinished business after riding high then missing out on GC honors in 2019.

New Zealander Patrick Bevin will lead CCC Team at the Santos Tour Down Under later this month.

The 28-year-old had his breakout performance at the Australian race in 2019, outsprinting Caleb Ewan and Peter Sagan to take his first WorldTour win on stage 2, and leading the GC for four days.

“We are bringing a strong and motivated roster to support Patrick Bevin, who showed what he is capable of in 2019,” said CCC Team Director Jackson Stewart in a press release.

Bevin’s 2019 Tour Down Under dream came to an end when he crashed heavily of stage 5 while wearing the leader’s jersey. He survived the stage with the overall lead, but then was dropped on the final stage while nursing the resulting injuries, losing the race lead in the process.

“It was nice to win a stage last year, lead the race for the best part of the week, and come away with the points jersey,” said Bevin. “But, being so close to the overall win is always going to be a tough memory for me. I take confidence knowing I was close and I can be close again.”

Bevin heads to Australia to lead a strong team which will include veteran German Simon Geschke, and American Joey Rosskopf. The race kicks off 21 January and is a popular season-opener for much of the peloton.

“We started the [2019] season at the Tour Down Under better than many expected I think, and naturally we want to win a stage this year after last year’s success,” said Stewart. “But, it’s a new year and a new race. We have the motivation and confidence from last year’s performance but, we expect a strong field and won’t be lining up as the favorites.”

CCC Team goes into its second season with a fortified roster. New signing Matteo Trentin will lead the classics hunt alongside Greg Van Avermaet, while Ilnur Zakarin has been brought in to bolster the team’s GC prospects. 23-year-old American Will Barta goes into his second season with the team with renewed ambition having shaken injury issues that held him back through 2019.