Twelve months ago Owain Doull touched down in Australia to embark upon his WorldTour debut at the Tour Down Under. However, the Welshman never made it to the start line after being diagnosed with appendicitis.
A year on and Doull is back in Adelaide and ready to put last year’s experience behind him as he builds up to the Spring Classics. His season is set to be split into two distinct halves with the Classics the main priority before the emphasis shifts to making the Vuelta a España squad. In a contract year, Doull is well aware that he needs to hit the ground running.
“It’s a contract year, so it’s an important one. They say that the second contract is always the hardest one to get because there’s a lot of promising and aspiring rides at U23 level, so it’s a big year for me,” he tells Cyclingnews as he outlines his support role at the Tour Down Under.
Team Sky have sent a relatively young team to the Australian WorldTour race, a change in stance given that the last few squads have included the likes of Sergio Henao, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas. Only two of the team in Adelaide this time around have enjoyed Grand Tour experience, while the team includes neo-pros Egan Bernal, Chris Lawless and Kristoffer Halvorsen.
For Doull the plan is relatively simple – stay fit and healthy and use last year as a marker for the coming campaign.
“Up until this point last year it was fine, but then I had appendicitis. Hopefully, this year, I’ll get to race and touch wood nothing else happens. At least there’s no appendix to take out this year.
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