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Israel Start-Up Nation sends full Canadian contingent to Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Ben Perry joins Boivin, Piccoli and Cataford from development team

Israel Start-Up Nation’s line up for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia will be dominated by Canadians. Guillaume Boivin, James Piccoli, Alex Cataford and Ben Perry make up four of the seven riders facing five stages from February 5 to 9 in the state of Victoria, with a conclusion in the city of Melbourne. In its 67th edition, the competition is Australia’s oldest stage race.

Except for Ben Perry, brought up from the Continental Israel Cycling Academy, the riders have already raced in Oceania. Boivin and Piccoli raced the WorldTour Santos Tour Down Under and the Cadel Great Ocean Road Race, with Boivin fitting in the 1.1-rated Race Torquay, where he was 22nd. Cataford contested the Torquay and Cadel Evans race.

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour attracts a few WorldTour teams every year, and the winner tend to come from those squads. Even though INEOS’s Dylan van Baarle is the current champion and Chris Froome earned the title in 2016, “the Empire” isn’t participating. Mitchelton-Scott is present and it has won four of the last six editions. Cameron Meyer and Damian Howson have both hoisted the trophy, but their captain this year is Simon Yates, working up to another stab at the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey.

EF Pro Cycling and Sunweb are the two other WorldTour squads at the 67th Jayco Herald Sun Tour. EF Canadian Michael Woods was third last season after winning Stage 2.

There’s also a Lexus of Blackburn Women’s Herald Sun Tour held over February 5 and 6 with no Canadians slated for the start line.