Team history

A modern, vibrant and innovative university, UniSA is proud of its 16-year association with the Santos Tour Down Under and its support for the development of young Australian riders through Team UniSA-Australia.

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2017

Team UniSA-Australia upstaged pro teams with multi-million-dollar budgets in the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under, winning the overall team classification.

The team earned the Wilson Parking Winning Team classification after finishing 1:19 minutes ahead in the accumulated final times of their best three finishers.

It was the first time a wildcard, amateur team has won the team classification in a WorldTour event.    

Team UniSA-Australia manager and Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Brad McGee said the spectacular victory was a well-deserved bonus after an exciting and successful week on the road.

Tasmanian cyclist Nathan Earle was the team’s best placed rider, finishing the Tour in eleventh pace.

Teammate Cameron Meyer also put in an impressive performance, earning the Most Competitive Rider in Stage Four together with Jack Bauer from Quick-Step. 

Team members

  • Cameron Meyer
  • Callum Scotson
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Michael Storer
  • Jai Hindley
  • Nathan Earle
  • Samuel Jenner
  • Bradley McGee (Team Manager)

2016

Sean Lake’s Stage 1 King of the Mountain heroics highlighted another engaged, game performance from Team UniSA-Australia at the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under.

The race represents one of the few opportunities for young Australian riders to compete as a team against some of the world’s best cycling talent and in that way, is a fantastic opportunity for high-potential young Australian road racers.

In his 10th year as coach of this development team, Dave Sanders, acknowledged the team battled bad luck in 2016 -   fighting through injury, dust storms, spills and even bee stings.

But the potential for brilliance was clear – Sean Lake’s race leading performance in stage 1, where he took out King of the Mountain ahead of an experienced European competitor along with constant heroic hit outs ahead of the peloton.

And the youngest rider at the Tour in 2016, Team UniSA’s 19-year-old Lucas Hamilton had his own moment of glory during the infamous Willunga Hill climb at Stage 5, making a dash to be third up and over,  amid competition from some of the best climbers on the international scene.

The team was one of the youngest fielded in the 15 years since UniSA began its sponsorship of the Tour, so big wins were probably never on the cards,  but Team UniSA-Australia showed all the fight it is renowned for and finished  8th in the team awards.

Team members

  • Anthony Giacoppo
  • Chris Hamilton
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Sean Lake
  • Pat Lane
  • Patrick Shaw
  • Steele von Hoff
  • Dave Sanders (team manager).

2015

The 2015 Santos Tour Down Under was one of Team UniSA-Australia’s most successful ever.

Our team of young guns was the only team in this year’s race to secure two stage wins, with Jack Bobridge winning Stage 1 in Campbelltown and Steele von Hoff taking out Stage 4 in Mount Barker.

Bobridge also won the King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey after a consistently strong effort across the week.

Miles Scotson performed well in the opening night People’s Choice Classic, winning the first sprint prime on his 21st birthday.

Jack Haig finished 16th in the General Classification, while the 2015 race overall was won by former Team UniSA rider Rohan Dennis (riding with BMC).

Team members

  • Steel von Hoff
  • Jack Bobridge
  • Miles Scotson
  • Alex Edmondson
  • Jack Haig
  • Robert Power
  • Neil van der Ploeg
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2014

The 2014 team made a great start to the Santos Tour Down Under with 19-year-old Caleb Ewan finishing third in the opening night People's Choice Classic behind world-renowned sprinters Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel.

There were high hopes for Ewan to continue his sprinting form in the week ahead but an unlucky crash at the end of Stage 2 saw him bruised and battered. He managed to recover enough in time for Stage 6 in which he managed a top 15 finish.

His teammates didn't go unnoticed with Team UniSA-Australia riders in breakaways throughout the week.

In Stage 1 in the Barossa Valley, 26-year-old Neil van der Ploeg spent most of the day in a two-man breakaway with former Team UniSA rider Will Clarke. In Stage 2 it was 21-year-old Campbell Flakemore who stood out for the team, riding in a three-man breakaway until the final lap of Stirling when he ran out of puff.

The stand-out rider for the week was 20-year-old Victorian Jack Haig who claimed the Cycle Instead Young Rider Jersey after Stage 4 and worked hard to keep it for the remainder of the Tour, particularly with a grueling ride up Willunga Hill in Stage 5 to finish at the front of the pack.

For Team Manager Dave Sanders, who says it's the "best week of the year" it was another Tour to be proud for the team.

"Team UniSA-Australia is made up of young guys and for most of them it's their first time at the Tour Down Under so anything they come away with is a remarkable achievement," Sanders says.

"They're only kids and they're going against the very best in the world."

Team members

  • Anthony Giacoppo
  • Bradley Linfield
  • Caleb Ewan
  • Campbell Flakemore
  • Jack Haig
  • Mark O'Brien
  • Neil van der Ploeg
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2013

Team UniSA-Australia started the 2013 Tour strongly with Zak Dempster riding in a two-man breakaway in the race preview, the People’s Choice Classic, and claiming all four sprints during the evening race.

After that, it was the team’s youngest riders who were among the stand-out performers. South Australian Damien Howson took advantage of riding on his hometown roads in Stage 4, riding in a two-man breakaway with World Champion road cyclist Philippe Gilbert for most of the stage. The impressive ride saw him take the podium at the end of the stage, sharing the Most Competitive Jersey with Gilbert.

The youngest team member, Calvin Watson (20) put in a solid effort across the Tour, getting into breakaways in Stages 2 and 5, and sitting near the front of the pack in the early part of Stage 3 in Stirling.

Team UniSA was competitive again in the King of the Mountain with Jordan Kerby winning the jersey in Stage 1. Howson also claimed the jersey in Stage 4. Kerby and Howson finished seventh and ninth respectively in the overall King of the Mountain.

Team Manager Dave Sanders said the week didn’t quite go to plan after a few unlucky spills impacted on what the riders could do. Howson and Sulzberger were involved in crashes in Stage 2; and then in Stage 4 Sulzberger and Dempster came down heavily with their bikes written off but their injuries not serious.

But as Sanders said, “that is cycling - you take the good with the bad”.

Team members

  • Bernie Sulzberger
  • Zak Dempster
  • Adam Phelan
  • Damien Howson
  • Calvin Watson
  • Jordan Kerby
  • Anthony Giocoppo
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2012

Team UniSA-Australia had a stellar year in 2012. The group, almost entirely aged under 25, proved once again that the Santos Tour Down Under offers opportunities for young riders from every state to shine.

The line-up included South Australia Olympian Rohan Dennis; Queenslander Jay McCarthy; Victorian Steele Von Hoff; Western Australian cyclist Lachlan Norris; New South Wales sprinter Thomas Palmer; and Tasmanians Will Clarke and Bernie Sulzberger.

Valiant performances were the hallmark of this team starting with Steele von Hoff’s fifth place in the opening event, the Santos Tour Down Under Classic, against some tough competition from UK sprinters preparing for their Olympic year.

Two-time Australian Under 23 road and time trial champion, Rohan Dennis won the Cycle Instead Young Rider’s Jersey in the first stage ride from Prospect to Clare, withstanding the extreme conditions and maintaining a four rider breakaway for 120km until the peloton caught them.

Will Clarke had thousands of fans urging him around the final loops of the track at Stirling in a solo performance of enormous determination. Against the odds, he took the stage bringing home the first stage win for the team since 2008. He left with a haul – awarded Coleman’s Group Stage 2 Winner jersey, King of the Mountain jersey, Sprint jersey and the Most Aggressive rider jersey for his sensational effort.

By stage 3 the close points battle for the KOM and the sprint jerseys saw both snatched away from the team at race end in Victor Harbour. The team had managed to hold on to the lead in the General Classifications.

Dennis’s final showing at Mengler’s Hill saw him bring the KOM jersey back to the team and he followed this up in stage 5 with a stunning performance coming in close to a stage win.

By Tour’s end the young riders brought home ninth place in the General Classification and Dennis won 2012 Skoda King of the Mountain jersey as well as the Cycle Instead Young Rider’s Jersey. He was also granted the Tanya Denver Award for Best SA Rider at the presentations after the race.

It was another star turn for Team UniSA-Australia.

Team members

  • Bernie Sulzberger
  • Jay McCarthy
  • Lachlan Norris
  • Rohan Dennis
  • Thomas Palmer
  • William Clarke
  • Steele Von Hoff
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2011

Team UniSA–Australia fielded one of its best teams yet in 2011 with experienced professional riders Luke Roberts, Jonathan Cantwell, Wesley Sulzberger and Mitchell Docker returning to the team after riding with UniSA earlier in their careers.

Roberts and Docker made an early mark in the race with respective jerseys in the King of the Mountain and Sprint competitions.

Tasmanian Bernard Sulzberger was involved in a crash just 100m from the finish line in Mannum in Stage 2. A broken collarbone forced him to retire from the race.

Young West Australian Luke Durbridge performed well in his first pro tour race and earned himself the Most Aggressive Rider jersey for Stage 3 after riding in a break-away.

Roberts, who was riding to secure a new pro tour contract, continued his strong performances in the King of the Mountain and even placed fifth over the finish line in Stage 5; while teammate Cantwell finished tenth in the final Stage 6.

Roberts went into the final stage with an eight-point lead in the King of the Mountain Classification and retained it with a first place.

Teammate Docker also led out in Stage 6 to finish first in the second mountain climb, giving him third overall in the King of the Mountain Classification. Roberts also earned himself the Tanya Denver Memorial award for the best South Australian rider, finishing tenth overall in the race; while Luke Durbridge came seventh in the King of the Mountain; Docker finished eighth in the Sprint classification; and Team UniSA-Australia placed 11th in the Brilliant Blend Winning Team Jersey.

Team Members

  • Luke Roberts
  • Jonathan Cantwell
  • Wesley Sulzberger
  • Mitchell Docker
  • Luke Durbridge
  • Michael Hepburn
  • Bernard Sulzberger
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2010

Team UniSA-Australia put in an aggressive performance in the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under. The team, mostly unsigned riders at the time, had nothing to lose and put in a great effort to make a mark in each stage. Overall, David Kemp finished third in the King of the Mountain classification and 21-year-old Tim Roe finished in fourth place. Kemp also finished fourth overall in the Sprint classification.

Roe earned the Most Aggressive Rider Jersey and King of the Mountain Jersey in Stage one, and David Kemp then kept the King of the Mountain Jersey with the team in Stage two, dominating the tough Checker Hill in the Adelaide Hills.

Simon Clarke put his hand up to make a mark for the team in Stage three and ended the day with the Most Aggressive Jersey.

In Stage four, Kemp again raced strongly, taking an early breakaway that held until just 12km from the finish. Stage five was a tough day but Rohan Dennis and Michael Matthews pushed hard to make early attacks while Peter McDonald did well to finish 15th overall in the pack at Willunga.

Team Members

  • Jonathan Cantwell
  • Simon Clarke
  • David Kemp
  • Michael Matthews
  • Peter McDonald
  • Tim Roe
  • Rohan Dennis
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2009

2009 saw a blend of experience and fresh talent in the Team UniSAAustralia riders as they tried to make their mark in the race with some aggressive riding.

The race gave new talents Jack Bobridge and Travis Meyer a good opportunity to get noticed, with impressive riding in several stages including a Stage five Most Aggressive Rider jersey for Bobridge, and Meyer riding in a three-man break-away for most of Stage four.

Bobridge also helped to set up a second place in Stage one for Baden Cooke in blistering heat.

Other highlights included Aaron Kemps winning the two sprints during Stage two and the Most Aggressive Rider jersey; and Matthew Wilson winning the first intermediate sprint during Stage three.

Team Members

  • Aaron Kemps
  • Baden Cooke
  • Jack Bobridge
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Scott Davis
  • Simon Clarke
  • Travis Meyer
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2008

In its first year as a pro tour event, the Santos Tour Down Under hosted 126 riders all looking to impress.

At the first hit out Team UniSAAustralia’s young Richie Porte took on all-comers with a sterling effort to lead and stay in the breakaway snatching moments of glory on what was now truly the world cycling stage.

But all eyes were on the sparky sprinter Allan ‘Alby’ Davis in his bid to regain reputation, form and a ticket to the cycling season as part of a pro-team.

While German rider Andre Greipel ultimately proved too strong for Davis in 2008, Alby rode valiantly to take out Stage three in a serious sprint finish at Victor Harbor. Final placings saw Davis win the jersey in the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider classification, and was second place in the overall classifications, the only Australian rider in the top three.

Davis went on to win the 2009 Santos Tour Down Under with the Quick Step team.

Team Members

  • Allan Davis
  • Karl Menzies
  • Matt Wilson
  • Richie Porte
  • Wes Sulzberger
  • Luke Roberts
  • Simon Clarke
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2007

A determined team effort and some impressive personal performances saw Karl Menzies miss out by a mere three seconds as overall classification winner of the 2007 Tour Down Under.

Menzies had a blistering Stage one win which, with the excellent support of his colleagues, set him up to wear the coveted ochre jersey for four stages of the Tour. Chris Jongewaard finished second in Stage three, and Allan Davis secured third place in Stage five and fifth in the Tour Down Under Classic curtain raiser.

Team Members

  • Allan Davis
  • Brett Aitken
  • Chris Jongewaard
  • Karl Menzies
  • Matthew White
  • Mitchell Docker
  • Robert McLachlan
  • Russell van Hout
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2006

Another outstanding team effort saw Team UniSAAustralia take victory in the team classification and Gene Bates (fifth), Russell van Hout (seventh) and Chris Jongewaard (ninth) all finishing in the top 10 in the overall classification.

Russell van Hout was second in the sprinters’ classification and led Paul Crake home on Stage four for a superb one-two finish. Paul Crake also clinched another second place on Stage two. In the King of the Mountain standings, Matthew Hayman, Russel van Hout, Gene Bates and Paul Crake snared the fourth to seventh slots.

Team Members

  • Ben Day
  • Chris Jongewaard
  • Gene Bates
  • Matthew Hayman
  • Paul Crake
  • Robert McLachlan
  • Russell van Hout
  • Sean Sullivan
  • Dave Sanders (manager)

2005

With the most competitive entry list to date, Team UniSA put in another strong performance in 2005, coming fourth overall in the team rankings.

Gene Bates proved to be the standout rider for Team UniSA, securing his first King of the Mountain title on his way to finishing eleventh overall. Bates also finished fourth in the Sprinters classifications and had two top 10 stage finishes.

Matthew Rex grabbed a top 10 finish in the opening stage of what many considered to be the most gruelling Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under to date.

Team Members

  • Adrian Laidler
  • Chris Jongewaard
  • Corey Sweet
  • Gene Bates
  • James Hannam
  • Matthew Rex
  • Russell van Hout
  • Stephen Cunningham
  • Michele Primaro (manager)

2004

What a year for Team UniSA!

Patrick Jonker was overall winner in what was to be his final professional ride; and top 10 overall finishes from Luke Roberts (ninth) and Gene Bates (tenth) helped propel Team UniSA to the top of the team standings.

Jonker also recorded top 10 finishes in the Sprint (fifth) and King of the Mountain (eighth) classifications, as well as receiving the most aggressive rider award for Stage three. Gene Bates grabbed second place in a closely fought third stage and Luke Roberts achieved three top 10 stage finishes.

Team Members

  • Adrian Laidler
  • Gene Bates
  • James Hannam
  • Luke Roberts
  • Matthew Rex
  • Patrick Jonker
  • Russell van Hout
  • Steve Cunningham
  • Michele Primaro (manager)

2003

Team UniSA continued its move up the rankings by finishing fifth overall on the teams’ leaderboard. Patrick Jonker was best rider in the overall standings, finishing seventh, with Russell van Hout, Gene Bates and Luke Roberts also finishing in the top 20.

Gene Bates won his second Under-23 classification, with Adrian Laidler also sneaking into the top 10. Russell van Hout was fifth overall in the King of the Mountain and seventh in the Sprinters classification, with Adrian Laidler following him home in eighth place. Steve Cunningham and Adrian Laidler won the most aggressive rider award for Stages three and four respectively.

Team Members

  • Adrian Laidler
  • Brett Aitken
  • Gene Bates
  • Jay Sweet
  • Luke Roberts
  • Patrick Jonker
  • Russell van Hout
  • Steve Cunningham
  • Michele Primaro (manager)

2002

Team UniSA used its local knowledge from the previous year to full advantage and improved to finish sixth in the team standings with Patrick Jonker taking a commendable third overall in the riders’ standings.

Russell van Hout once again was runner-up in the King of the Mountain and Corey Sweet snared the most aggressive rider award on his way to finishing a superb second in the opening stage. A swag of top 10 stage finishes by six Team UniSA riders confirmed the overall depth of talent in the squad.

Team Members

  • Adrian Laidler
  • Brett Aitken
  • Corey Sweet
  • Gene Bates
  • Luke Roberts
  • Patrick Jonker
  • Russell van Hout
  • Steve Cunningham
  • Michele Primaro (manager)

2001

The inaugural year of Team UniSA’s involvement in the Santos Tour Down Under and a valuable experience with the team finishing 11th overall.

There were some standout performances – Luke Roberts won Stage four (Unley to Strathalbyn) and Gene Bates won the Under 23 classification, while Russell van Hout finished runner-up in the King of the Mountain standings with Steve Cunningham placed fifth.

Team UniSA riders picked up a swag of Most Aggressive rider awards with Kristjan Snorrasson (Stage one), Steve Cunningham (Stage three) and Russell van Hout (Stage five) all getting in the action.

Team Members

  • Adrian Laidler
  • Gene Bates
  • Kristjan Snorrasson
  • Lado Fumic
  • Luke Roberts
  • Matt Wilson
  • Russell van Hout
  • Steve Cunningham
  • Michele Primaro (manager)

Classification Placings

Overall

YearRiderPosition
 2008 Allan Davies 2nd
 2007 Karl Menzies 2nd
 2006 Gene Bates 5th
 2004 Patrick Jonker 1st
 2002 Patrick Jonker 3rd

Teams

YearTeamPosition
2016 Team UniSA 1st
2006 Team UniSA 1st
2004 Team UniSA 1st

King of the Mountain

YearRiderPosition
2015 Jack Bobridge 1st
2012 Rohan Dennis 1st
2011 Luke Roberts 1st
2011 Mitchell Docker 3rd
2010 David Kemp 3rd
2005 Gene Bates 1st
2002 Russell van Hout 2nd
2001 Russell van Hout 2nd

Most Aggressive Rider

YearRiderPosition
2008 Allan Davis 1st 

Sprints classification

YearRiderPosition
2006  Russell van Hout 2nd

Young Rider jersey

YearRiderPosition
2014 Jack Haig 1st
2012 Rohan Dennis 1st
2003 Gene Bates 1st
2001 Gene Bates 1st

Stage classification

YearStageRiderPosition
2015 1 Jack Bobridge 1st
2015 4 Steele von Hoff 1st
2012 2 Will Clarke 1st
2008 3 Allan Davis 1st
2007 5 Allan Davis 3rd
2007 3 Chris Jongewaard 2nd
2007 1 Karl Menzies 1st
2006 4 Russell van Hout 1st
2006 4 Paul Crake 2nd
2006 2 Paul Crake 2nd
2004 3 Gene Bates 2nd
2002 2 Corey Sweet 2nd
2001 4 Luke Roberts 1st

Areas of study and research

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