SYDNEY, Dec 3, 2009 (AFP) – Tour de France stage winners Yaroslav Popovych and Gert Steegmans will boost Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack when it makes its worldwide debut at Australia’s Tour Down Under, organizers said Thursday.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong is returning for a second attempt at the first UCI ProTour race of the 2010 season, but this time with his new team.
The full team roster was announced last month by Johan Bruyneel, manager of the new RadioShack team, and the line-up has now been confirmed for the Tour Down Under, to be staged around Adelaide from January 17-24.
Race Director Mike Turtur said Ukraine’s Popovych and Belgian Steegmans would be a part of Team RadioShack along with South Africa’s Daryl Impey, American Jason McCartney, Belgium’s Sebastien Rosseler and Tomas Vaitkus from Lithuania.
“Lance is real legend of the sport and it’s been massive for our race that he made his cycling comeback here in 2009 and will debut Team RadioShack here in 2010,” Turtur said in a statement.
“While much of the media focus will be on Armstrong, he will be joined by a very strong RadioShack team, who are all great riders in their own right.
“Popovych has been a loyal servant of Armstrong’s at Discovery Channel and Astana, and is a very capable rider.
“Our race gives him an opportunity to do well and will also suit Steegman’s sprinting skills.”
Popovych won the young rider classification at the 2005 Tour de France and a stage of the 2006 event, while Steegmans is a two-time stage winner.
Turtur said Bruyneel will be at the Tour Down Under in his capacity as team director.
Team RadioShack: Lance Armstrong (USA), Daryl Impey (RSA), Jason McCartney (USA), Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Sebastien Rosseler (BEL), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Tomas Vaitkus (LTU).
Australia’s world road cycling champion Cadel Evans will also be riding in the race.