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Team Sky opt for youthful team at Tour Down Under

Joe Robinson
8 Jan 2018

Team debuts for Egan Bernal, Chris Lawless and Kristoffer Halvorsen at Tour Down Under

Team Sky have put their faith in a young squad at next week's Tour Down Under, handing debut rides to three of the teams new riders.

Climber Egan Bernal and sprinters Chris Lawless and Kristoffer Halvorsen will make their inaugural appearances for the British team in what is the first WorldTour race of the year.

The trio help towards a sprightly average age of 23 for the team's visit to Australia, which also helped with the inclusion of British duo Owain Doull and Jonathan Dibben.

Salvatore Puccio (28) and Lukasz Wisniowski (26) round out the squad, providing the experience for the team targeting overall success with Bernal and stage victories with Halvorsen.

Despite being only 20-years-old, much expectation has already been built around Bernal. The Colombian was dominant at the 2017 Tour de l'Avenir, dubbed the junior Tour de France, before racing well at the Italian Autumn classics, notably finishing 13th at Il Lombardia.

These performances have earned him his first opportunity as team leader, a task that sports director Brett Lancaster certainly thinks Bernal is up to.

'Egan has already raced in a lot of big races. He’s no longer a neo-pro but he’s very young still. It’s going to be a really good chance to see where he is at, especially against the Australian riders who are in a home race and adapted already,' said Lancaster.

'We’ll see what happens come Willunga Hill and we’ll look to put him in a good position.'

Beyond Bernal, the team will put their hopes in Halvorsen on the flat, sprint days with fellow fast finisher Lawless also an option if needs be.