Australian team names line-up for Tour Down Under

Simon Yates will be the main overall hope for top Australian cycling team Jayco AlUla as they try to regain the Tour Down Under title.

Australia's only World Tour race is always the first goal of the year for Jayco AlUla and Yates finished runner-up last year to Jay Vine.

The British Grand Tour specialist will have a strong team around him for the January 16-21 Adelaide tour, which will end with a weekend well suited to his climbing prowess.

The Saturday stage features the Tour's famed Willunga climb ahead of the last stage with a summit finish at Mt Lofty.

Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner, joins French star Julian Alaphilippe and Australia's Vine as the early overall favourites.

Jayco AlUla last won the overall Tour title with South African Daryl Impey, who went back-to-back in 2018-19.

Their team will also feature leading Australian riders Luke Plapp and Caleb Ewan.

Plapp, who is likely to be a key member of the Australian Olympic team in Paris, has joined Jayco AlUla from British team Ineos Grenadiers.

Ewan, one of the world's top sprinters, was confirmed as a Tour Down Under starter in October after his switch from Belgian team Lotto Dstny.

Ewan had a frustrating end to his time at Lotto Dstny and will want a stage win at least during the Tour Down Under.

Adelaide climbing specialist Chris Harper will be Yates' main domestique in the Tour.

Australian Olympic track medallists Kelland O’Brien and Michael Hepburn and New Zealand's Campbell Stewart round out their Tour line-up.

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