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