Australian Michael Rogers will be a prominent part of the Tinkoff-Saxo team heading to the Santos Tour Down Under, and may even be in the hunt for overall victory.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

Rogers, who is returning to competition after a brilliant season on the road, picking up three Grand Tour stage wins between the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, said he's motivated to be heading once more to Adelaide.

"I'm excited to return to Adelaide for my eleventh Santos Tour Down Under. I'm bringing an enthusiastic and committed Tinkoff-Saxo team, with the aim of getting the season off to a good start," said Tinkoff-Saxo captain Michael Rogers.

Michael Rogers will be accompanied by Christopher Juul-Jensen, Manuele Boaro, Jesper Hansen, Michael Kolar, Pavel Brutt and Evgeny Petrov, who will ride in support of the former winner of Santos Tour Down Under.

Tinkoff-Saxo has spent the off-season further strengthening its setup and preparing for 2015. According to sport director Lars Michaelsen expects the team to perform in Adelaide, with a highly-motivated group heading to the WorldTour opener.

"The entire team is very excited about kicking off the season in Australia. We're ready to take responsibility in the race, and I feel that we have a strong group of riders, who are very motivated to support Michael to the fullest," said Michaelsen.

"We come with ambitions aiming for a top-5 with Michael but we also know that it's very early in the season and there are a lot of unknown factors."

The race consists of six stages split between flat, and undulating days in the saddle. To execute its objectives, Tinkoff-Saxo is fielding a diverse group of riders to support Michael Rogers throughout the race, and keep him in the best possible position before the crucial Stage 5, Willunga Hil.

"We have to keep Michael in a good position before the queen stage to Willunga Hill, where we'll most likely see the big race favorites try to decide the race," said Michaelsen.

"That requires a consistent effort from the entire team, but I sense that all the guys are motivated and ready to fight for each other."

The Tinkoff-Saxo team competing at the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by sport director Lars Michaelsen and includes riders Manuele Boaro (Italy), Pavel Brutt (Russia), Michael Rogers (Australia), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Denmark), Michael Kolar (Slovakia), Evgeny Petrov (Russia) and Jesper Hansen (Denmark).