Reigning Santos Tour Down Under champion Allan Davis will return to Adelaide to defend his title with new team Astana.
Allan Davis today confirmed he has signed a two year contract with Astana and will debut with the team at the Santos Tour Down Under later this month.
"Being the defending champion means pressure in any sport. But as always I am looking forward to the Santos Tour Down Under to kick off my season. Hopefully with a stage win and then we'll see what happens," says Davis.
"It was a hard choice to make as Quick Step really looked after me. My main reason for changing is to have more of a leading sprinters roll in the team at the highest level of Pro races through out the year. Also having my brother, Scott, alongside me was a key factor in my decision. "My main role will be the sprinting side of things as well as the one day classics and aiming for stage wins in tours throughout the year."
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, welcomed the news that Davis would be returning to compete in Adelaide.
"As the reigning champion and the only rider to compete in every edition of the race, it's great to have Allan competing here again this year," says Mike Turtur.
"Allan put in an epic performance here last year, winning three stages and the overall GC. Now in his first race for Astana, I'd expect him to make his mark with more blistering rides."
The Astana team at the Santos Tour Down Under will include 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro.
"With Davis and Pereiro, Astana are bringing a team of true quality to Adelaide. I'd expect them to be aiming for stage wins for Davis and perhaps the overall GC," says Mike Turtur.
The Astana team for the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Guido Bontempi (ITA) and includes riders:
Allan Davis (AUS) Oscar Pereiro (ESP) Valeriy Dmitriyev (KAZ)
Andriy Grivko (UKR) Gorazd Stangelj (SLO) Josep Jufre Pou (ESP)
Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (ESP)
After the Santos Tour Down Under, Davis will head to Europe to compete in the Milan San Remo and Spring Classics.
"Milan San Remo will be my first main goal this season then the Classics, stage wins in grand tours. The World Championships is very high on my agenda. I have been ill in the last two editions of the worlds so I'd like to be fit and well for Geelong this year at home in Australia," says Davis.
"The Tour de France is high on my list of goals this season, Alberto and I have spoken about it briefly and yes we both would like to race the TDF. GC will be first priority and then we'll see if a stage or two is there that suits my strengths. I would like to try for the TDF Green jersey in the next couple of years as well as that competition is perfectly suited for my style of racing."
Allan Davis will arrive in Adelaide on 11 January and will be joined by his Astana team mates on 14 January.