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Trek-Segafredo’s North American additions — Ryder Hesjedal, Kiel Reijnen, and Peter Stetina — will debut in their new team colors at the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia. The new arrivals will stretch their legs in the 2016 WorldTour season-opener January 19-24.
Both Hesjedal and Stetina join Trek-Segafredo after moves from Cannondale-Garmin and BMC Racing, respectively. Reijnen is making his WorldTour debut after three years with UnitedHealthcare. Hesjedal is expected to target the Giro d’Italia, which he won in 2012, while Stetina continues his comeback from serious injury at the Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), and will likely target a strong performance at the Amgen Tour of California in May.
Hesjedal’s raced the Tour Down Under three times, including in 2012, when he became the first Canadian to win a grand tour with his Giro victory. Stetina competed in Australia’s lone WorldTour race for the first time in 2015.
The pair joins several big names already confirmed for the Australian WorldTour race, now entering its 18th edition.
Lampre-Merida confirmed new arrival Louis Meintjes will link up with Diego Ulissi to make his debut for the Italian team after switching from MTN-Qhubeka.
On Tuesday, Team Sky confirmed its lineup, including Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, and Sergio Henao.
“We have lots of quality riders in this lineup,” said Sky sport director Kurt-Asle Arvesen. “This gives us great options, and we’re confident of putting in another strong team performance at this race. We can’t wait to get the season started, and we’re looking forward to seeing our Australian fans on the roadside.”
Other confirmed starters include Richie Porte and defending champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) as well as three-time winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).
“To start with the Tour Down Under is the best possible way to start,” Porte said. “Having won the past years on Willunga Hill, why not go for the trifecta? With Rohan and I there, I think we’re going to have a great team, so I’m really looking forward to taking on a challenging race.”
18th Santos Tour Down Under (January 19-24)
Stage 1: Prospect to Lyndoch, 130.8km
Stage 2: Linley to Stirling, 132km
Stage 3: Glenelg to Campbelltown, 139km
Stage 4: Norwood to Victor Harbor, 138km
Stage 5: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
Stage 6: Adelaide, 90km