Belgium team Quick Step has unveiled the rider list for the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under, which sees the return of top sprinter Francesco Chicchi to the team.
"Chicchi is no stranger to the Santos Tour Down having competed here in 2009 and winning the final stage of the race," says Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur.
"It will be interesting to see "The Sheriff" returning to the race next year with his new team Quick Step which he last rode for in 2006."
In a sport that loves nicknames, Francesco Chicchi is known as "The Sheriff" due to his love of Wild West movies.
"Chicchi got off to a great start in 2010 with two stage wins at the Tour of Qatar and one in the Tour of California, where he beat sprint king Mark Cavendish," says Mike Turtur.
"Chicchi is in excellent form and cycling fans will be holding their breath to see how he takes on the other top sprinters in our race next year.
"With many of the world’s top 10 sprinters such as André Greipel, Mike Cavendish, Tyler Farrar and now Chicchi making their presence at the 2011 Santos Tour Under, this is certainly one race not to be missed."
Another rider joining the sprint stable at Quick Step is up-and-coming German cycling star, Gerald Ciolek. The Milram rider will be moving to Quick Step for the 2011 season.
"Ciolek is a promising and talented rider who won the German National Championship road race at the tender age of 18, making him the youngest rider to do so," says Mike Turtur.
Team Manager Rik Van Slycke (BEL) will be leading the Quick Step team at the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under with the following riders:
Francesco Chicchi (ITA) Gerald Ciolek (DEU) Julien Vermote (BEL)
Marco Bandiera (ITA) Addy Engels (NLD) Francesco Reda (ITA)
Davide Malacarne (ITA)