The list of European riders heading to South Australia in January continues to grow with the announcement today of the Astana Pro Team and Liquigas-Cannondale team line ups for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said it would be interesting to see how both teams performed at the race, with Astana assembling a team with three new signings and Liquigas-Cannondale bringing a mix of experience across their roster.
"Both teams have always been very competitive here in the past, so in 2012, we are expecting no different," Turtur said. "Muravyev, Bozic and Guarnieri all join Astana for the 2012 season. Guarnieri was selected to add to the team's sprinting stocks, perhaps making him one to watch vying for points for the Jayco Sprint jersey."
Joining them will be Assan Bazayev, the 2008 Kazakhstan Road Race Champion, who finished eighth in 2010 in the UCI World Road Championships.
"We will expect Bozic to come out strong having a taste for victory in 2011, with a stage win at the Tour de Suisse," Turtur said.
Liquigas-Cannondale announced their full 29 man squad late last month, having selected some dependable young riders to help the team look forward to next season with plenty of ambition.
Liquigas-Cannondale's Kristijan Koren made his Grand Tour debut in the 2010 Tour de France, a highlight of this debut was his performance featuring in the breakaway on Stage 17, making him a rider to watch.
The Astana Pro Team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Guido Bontempi (ITA) and include riders:
Dmitriy Muravyev (KAZ)
Borut Bozic (SLO)
Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA)
Francesco Masciarelli (ITA)
Assan Bazayev (KAZ)
Valentin Iglinskiy (KAZ)
Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
The Liquigas-Cannondale team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Biagio Conte (ITA) and include riders:
Stefano Agostini (ITA)
Alan Marangoni (ITA)
Federico Canuti (ITA)
Kristijan Koren (SLO)
Daniele Ratto (ITA)
Mauro Da Dalto (ITA)
Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 15-22 January 2012. For more information, race routes and results visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au