Aqua Blue Sport has announced its first race of the 2017 season – the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday, January 29th in Victoria, Australia.
Seven riders have been named on the team set to compete in the UCI WorldTour race, among them Australian sprinter Leigh Howard (26), who took second place in the 2016 edition.
Also competing in the one-day race are fellow Australian Calvin Watson as well as Aaron Gate (NZL), Peter Koning (NED), Michel Kreder (NED), Larry Warbasse (USA) and Conor Dunne (IRL).
Inspired by the prestigious ‘spring classics’ of Europe, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is the centrepiece of a weekend of cycling events attracting riders of all levels.
It is one of 11 new races on the UCI WorldTour calendar for 2017, having been awarded a three-year licence by world cycling’s governing body. A total of 18 teams are set to race next month, 13 of them WorldTour outfits.
Commenting on the announcement Aqua Blue Sport owner, Rick Delaney said, “We are delighted with the team that we have assembled for our first race and believe we have the ability to make an impact from the outset in 2017. We are getting very excited about the start of the season and competing in Australia at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.”
He continued, “Seeing the navy and gold jersey on our riders in competition is something of a dream come true for me but also the beginning of the journey for Aqua Blue Sport.”
Howard, second in the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race , is excited at the prospect of doing battle on familiar territory – the race starts from his home town of Geelong.
Commenting on the upcoming race he said, “I’m really excited to be starting my season back home in Australia, and having taken second place in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race last year I’m definitely on a mission to perform in 2017.”
“My pre-season has been going well, I’m excited to be with a new team and I will be disappointed with anything less than a strong result on January 29th.”