Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM is ready to perform at next year's Santos Tour Down Under, with confirmation of the team's rider roster for the event announced today.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said he was happy to welcome the team back for its second appearance at the race.
"Vacansoleil-DCM made its Santos Tour Down Under debut in 2011 and we are looking forward to welcoming them again in 2012," Turtur said.
Vacansoleil-DCM Team Manager, Michel Cornelisse, said it was important for Vacansoleil-DCM to perform well at the first race of the season in 2012.
"For us it is important to perform well at the beginning of the season, like we did at the Santos Tour Down Under in 2011. We will bring a strong and highly motivated team for a new edition of the Santos Tour Down Under. Last year we saw our sprinter Romain Feillu in several top fives and Thomas De Gendt finishing second on the hardest stage of the race," Cornelisse said.
"De Gent and Feillu will be back again and we will come to Australia with two objectives. One is to work on our sprints with Feillu and Dutchman van Hummel who both will be led out by the other guys. Secondly we aim to start the season with a great first race. The indicators for a great race can differ and have to be decided based on opportunities but the crowd and weather will also contribute."
Thomas De Gendt competed at the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under and believed this race contributed to his consistent form throughout the season.
"I asked to start my season again at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide. The team gave me confidence in 2011 and I managed to perform for a big part of the season on which starting the year at the Santos Tour Down Under contributed. At this year's race I was close to a WorldTour stage win which I eventually took in Paris-Nice and the Tour of Switzerland," De Gendt said.
"My objective for the race in 2012 is to get a good stage result which will bring me towards the top of the GC too if I don't lose time at the other stages. The beautiful weather and it being the first race of the season gives extra motivation."
Vacancoleil-DCM's team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Michel Cornelisse (NED) and include riders:
Kenny van Hummel (NED)
Romain Feillu (FRA)
Thomas De Gendt (BEL)
Marcello Pavarin (ITA)
Mirko Selvaggi (ITA)
Wouter Mol (NED)
Sergey Lagutin (UZB)