Neil Van Der Ploeg was forced to withdraw from the UniSA squad due to illness, but this has opened up the door for Avanti IsoWhey Sports stalwart, Anthony Giacoppo, to take his place. Giacoppo will be well known to National Road Series fans as the 29-year old sprinter has taken a lot of victories in the Australian and Asian races. He was third in the Nationals Criterium, taking 3rd behind Caleb Ewan and Brenton Jones, and that form was likely enough to convince selectors that he?d be the man most likely to help in a sprint.
He has been with the Avanti set-up since 2011, when it was Genesys Wealth Advisors, and will join 4 of his teammates in the UniSA squad, plus Steele Von Hoff, who he?s raced with before. Giacoppo and Von Hoff have similar talent sets, both are fast men who can make it over some challenging hills, and both will be suited to this year?s edition which has a number of tricky ascents coming just before the finish, with the Victor Harbour stage likely the one that will see the best chance for Von Hoff to repeat his stage win of last year?s Tour.
With the inclusion of another Avanti IsoWhey Sports rider in the UniSA team, other teams may be feeling a bit miffed after the strong performances of riders like Jesse Kerrison, Chris Harper (both State of Matter/MAAP), Ben Dyball (Mobius Future Racing) and Alistair Donohoe (Attaque Team Gusto) in the nationals were overlooked. Donohoe in particular could be considered very unlucky, with his talents well-suited to the challenges of the course and his ability to help out in the sprints, but with the late call-up, selectors favoured experience over potential with the reliable Giacoppo the go to man.
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