7 November 2019
With one round of the National Road Series remaining, the season is rapidly drawing to a close. Rather than being a time to unwind, it’s a hectic time of year for us. We have been busily preparing to launch the new season with renewed fight to take what was a massively successful year to even greater heights.
My personal highlight for the year was the domestic summer, with some call outs being:
- A dominant display at nationals, with Nick White winning the u23 title, Tristan Ward 2nd in the elite criterium and Chris Harper 2nd in the elite men’s race
- Having our riders represent Australia at the Tour Down Under, performing impressively as a team against the World Tour teams, with Jason Lea coming away with the KOM jersey
- A successful Sun Tour where we came away with the Sprint jersey and 4th on GC with Chris Harper pipping alumni rider, Richie Porte, on the final stage
Our Summer/Autumn program provided the platform for several riders to demonstrate their talent to the World Tour teams. Following this, our focus over the Winter and Spring was to give our guys the best opportunity to push their case further.
I’m proud that we, with your support, were able to do that and several of our guys made the most of the opportunity. Chris Harper and Dylan Sunderland have earnt World Tour contracts for 2020, with Jumbo-Visma and Team NTT (formerly Dimension Data) respectively. What isn’t so widely celebrated is the team work that goes into giving those riders the opportunity to get the results they have, and I’m very proud of the team for giving and sacrificing so much to help their team mates, and the team, achieve what we have.
Highlights through this period include the following:
A stage win in the Tour de Taiwan (2.1) – Nick White
2 stage wins and the overall GC win in the Tour of Japan (2.1) – Ayden Toovey and Chris Harper
KOM, Sprint, Team GC, 2 stage wins and the overall GC win in the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc (2.2) – Chris Harper and team
KOM win, second in the Queen stage and 12th overall GC of the Tour of Utah (2.HC) – Hayden McCormick and Scott Bowden
Stage win in the Tour of Great South Coast (NRS) – Tristen Ward
Overall GC win in the Tour of Gippsland (NRS) – Jason Lea
Selection for the Tour de l’Avenir and World Road Championships – Nick White
A pleasing thing looking back at these results, other than the results themselves, is the number of riders who have stepped up to contribute. The team has always prided itself on depth and this has continued through 2019.
Sharing our journey throughout the year has been very enjoyable. We’ve raced in Oceania, Asia, Europe and North America, and recorded victories in each continent.
For 2020, we are welcoming some of the brightest young talent to our team, and look forward to improving our operations and marketing to ensure we are truly offering the best environment to our athletes.
The project is now entering it’s 20th year since the formation of the team in 2000 by Andrew Christie-Johnston, and we are working hard to ensure our project can continue to pave the way for Australian and New Zealand cyclists, to the very top of the sport for years to come.
Tom Petty – General Manager