Team BikeExchange will make its 2021 season debut in Europe with its new name and look this Sunday, at the one-day Spanish race, Clasica de Almeria.
New Norwegian signing, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, will make his debut in Team BikeExchange colours, giving the Australian outfit a strong option if the race comes down to a sprint finish. Young Australian’s Nick Schultz, Callum Scotson, Dion Smith and Robert Stannard provide the squad with the opportunity to be aggressive early on, in what will be their first outing of the season.
Rounding out the seven-rider team are two experienced riders in Michael Hepburn and New Zealander Jack Bauer, both adding crucial horsepower as the team looks to continue its winning streak, following on from their recent success at the Australian Championships.
For this year’s edition, the race covers 183kilometres and features four categorised climbs, the hardest being a second category climb coming after 40km of racing. However, with a history of concluding with bunch sprints, 2021 is predicted to follow in the same tradition.
Team BikeExchange at Clasica de Almeria:
Jack Bauer (NZL, 35)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR, 27)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 29)
Nick Schultz (AUS, 26)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 24)
Dion Smith (NZL, 27)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 22)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen
“I’m very excited to start my first season with the team. It’s always exciting to get the season started, but especially now when everything is new.
“I’ve never done this race before, but I do think it will be a bunch sprint in the end like previous years. Hopefully the race will be hard so we can get a good effort in before the races later in February.
“My preparation has been really good with uninterrupted training through the winter. The last week, however, has been a bit of the contrary, with the birth of my son. Hopefully the excitement of starting the season exceeds the fatigue of sleep deprivation, so I can have a good race on Sunday.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“This will be our first race of the season in Europe and it is a race we have done before and had some good results. The most challenging part of the course is in the middle and then it is quite fast at the finish and I dare say there will be a few teams that don’t want to give an armchair ride to some of the sprinters, but it does usually come back together for at least a reduced group finish.
“We have Amund if it comes to a sprint but also the other guys will get the opportunity and will be encouraged to ride aggressively during the middle of the race. I think the preparation phases have gone really well for the guys over the winter.
“It is a valuable race for us, with such a restricted February everybody is really motivated to get at least one-day of good competition before some of the guys go off to UAE and others to Opening Weekend. We will make the most of this day and this race opportunity.”
Clasica de Almeria Race Details:
Sunday, 14th Feb: Puebla de Vicar – Roquetas de Mar, 183.3km – 13:05 CET