A stellar line up of UCI WorldTour teams were today confirmed to ride in the elite men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 31 January 2016.

Joining the previously announced BMC Racing (USA), ORICA-GreenEDGE (AUS) and Team Sky (GBR) will be Team Katusha (RUS), Trek Factory Racing (USA) and IAM Cycling (SUI) who all return after the racing the inaugural edition this year.

Lotto-Soudal (BEL) and Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED) will make their debut appearances whilst the WorldTour lineup is completed by exciting new top level outfit Team Dimension Data (RSA) who raced as pro-continental team MTN Qhubeka in 2015.

Making the announcement today, Minister for Sport, Major Events and Tourism, John Eren said he was looking forward to welcoming the teams to Victoria.

“We look forward to welcoming all UCI WorldTour teams to Victoria to experience the iconic Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast.

“A special welcome to Lotto-Soudal and Team LottoNL-Jumbo who will be competing in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race for the first time.

“Competition will be fierce, with the British powerhouse Team Sky looking to turn its top five finish in the inaugural race to a podium finish in 2016 and Team Katusha looking to start its year off well after finishing ranked number two in 2015 on the UCI WorldTour calendar,” Minister Eren said.

Also announced was the five pro continental teams that will form part of the race – UnitedHealthcare (USA), ONE Pro Cycling (GBR), Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS) and Team Novo Nordisk (USA), along with the Australian National Team.

Cadel Evans who rode his last race as a professional cyclist in the inaugural event in February this year said he was looking forward to watching the teams battle it out.

“To have nine of the best cycling teams in the world travelling to Victoria is fantastic and I am sure like last time they will enjoy the challenges and unique style of racing that our course and conditions provide. I can’t wait to see it unfold,” Evans said.

BMC Racing Team confirmed 2015 Tour Down Under, USA Pro Challenge winner, Tour de France stage winner and current Australian cyclist of the year, Rohan Dennis, will be competing in the elite men’s race.

“After seeing the inaugural race earlier this year, I can’t wait to be part of it in January 2016,” Dennis said.

“I’m looking forward to starting the season off in Australia, and where better than along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria being cheered on by a passionate Aussie crowd.”

Also confirmed to race in the ORICA-GreenEDGE team is Simon Gerrans, the first Australian to win a stage in each of the three Grand Tours.

“Having been sidelined for the Australian season at the beginning of this year I’m really looking forward to being back amongst it and racing in front of Aussie crowds again next year,” Gerrans said.

“The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a Classics parcours and that style of racing suits my characteristics well.”

The remainder of the field will be made up of UCI Continental Teams and will be announced when the UCI Continental licences are approved in early January 2016.