Headline act Richie Porte and triple world champion Annette Edmondson will lead star-studded Team Garmin-Australia outfits contesting the Festival of Cycling in Adelaide this month.
The men’s and women’s national teams have been confirmed for the four-stage National Road Series races, which are being held from January 21-24 in place of the Tour Down Under.
INEOS Grenadiers rider Porte, who finished third overall at last year’s Tour de France, will link up with EF Education-NIPPO’s James Whelan and four-time track world title holder Sam Welsford in the men’s team.
Fellow multiple world title holders Leigh Howard, Kelland O’Brien and Alex Porter will also line up alongside Porte.
Edmondson will lead a women’s outfit that features rising stars Sarah Gigante, Maeve Plouffe, Georgia Baker and Neve Bradbury, as well as Trek Segafredo’s Lauretta Hanson.
“The quality of both the men’s and women’s teams is testament to the passion each of these riders have for racing and starting the 2021 season at the Santos Festival of Cycling,” men’s race director Stuart O’Grady said.
The Festival of Cycling features fields comprised of National Road Series, Continental and World Tour riders.
Team Garmin-Australia’s participation comes through a new partnership with AusCycling.
“We are really pleased to have the opportunity to race on what’s going to be home roads for the Australian Cycling Team,” AusCycling performance director Simon Jones said.
The 2021 Tour Down Under was cancelled due to COVID-19 preventing overseas teams from travelling and the replacement Festival of Cycling will not have World Tour status.
2021 SANTOS FESTIVAL OF CYCLING
MEN: Richie Porte, Sam Welsford, Kelland O’Brien, Leigh Howard, Luke Plapp, Alex Porter, James Whelan.
WOMEN: Maeve Plouffe, Annette Edmonson, Georgia Baker, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Gigante, Lauretta Hanson, Neve Bradbury.