18 Dec 2022

Australian Stars Set to Shine

The strongest contingent of Australian WorldTour riders are set to race in front of a home crowd at the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under.

After several years racing in Europe, Ben O’Connor, Michael Matthews and Simon Clarke will headline the Australian contingent for the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under.

Since joining AG2R Citroën Team at the start of 2021, Ben O’Connor’s career has gone from strength to strength.

The 26 year-year-old is one of only four Australians to have finished the Tour de France in the top five after finishing fourth in 2021 and is widely considered amongst the top contenders for the maillot jaune in 2023.

This year will mark Israel - Premier Tech’s Simon Clarke’s 12th appearance at the Santos Tour Down Under, his first since 2018.

The veteran rider secured arguably his biggest career win in the cobbled stage five of this year's Tour de France.

Simon Clarke. Image Credit: CAuldPhoto
Simon Clarke. Image Credit: CAuldPhoto

 Fellow 2023 Tour de France stage winner Michael Matthews makes his returns to the Tour Down Under for the first time since 2014.

The GreenEDGE Cycling rider secured a gritty Tour de France stage win this year, overcoming challenging 40-degree weather on stage 14, and finished his year on a high after finishing third at the 2022 UCI World Championships in September.

Michael Matthews. Image credit: CAuldPhoto
Michael Matthews. Image credit: CAuldPhoto

A number of other Australian riders, including Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe), Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers), Michael Hepburn (GreenEDGE Cycling) and Luke Durbridge (GreenEDGE Cycling), have already confirmed they will be racing at the Santos Tour Down Under next year.

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady said it has been an incredible time for Australian cycling.

“We have watched these riders doing amazing things on the world stage for the past few years so it will be exciting for Australian fans to see them up close in January,” O’Grady said.

“These riders, like many young Aussies, had some of their first WorldTour experiences at the Santos Tour Down Under and it is great to see that as their career’s progress and grow, they want to come back and be part of this race.

“It’s really important to have these local role models to show the next generation of Australian cyclists that this is a dream they can chase.”

Remaining rider announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

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The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour

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