A new Australian cross-country squad will take on the UCI World Cup circuit this year. Team Cycling Australia Discovertasmania.com has been set up to develop talented young riders and promote the island of Tasmania as a tourist destination.
The six riders will compete on Felt bikes with RockShox suspension, SRAM groupsets and Geax tyres. They will train under the guidance of coach Neil Ross at the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.
The riders are:
Charlton Durie (NSW) – 2008 U19 Australian cross-country champion
Gracie Elvin (ACT) – 2009 U23 Australian cross-country champion
Rowena Fry (TAS) – 2009 Australian cross-country champion
Nathan Haas (ACT) – silver medallist, 2009 U23 Australian cross-country championships
Lachlan Norris (VIC) – 2009 U23 Australian cross-country champion
Paul van der Ploeg (VIC) – 2008 U23 Australian cross-country champion
Ross said: “Cycling Australia Discovertasmania.com has been designed to expose Australia’s talented young mountain bikers to an intensive training and competition environment. They will be racing the World Cup circuit alongside the professional teams and that will give our athletes the experience and race results to gain professional contracts with the best teams in the world.”
The team has been developed from last year’s three-rider High Performance Program. Ross said: “We greatly appreciate the support and resources being put behind the team. It’s a solid investment in our cycling future and I’m very excited to be involved with the team.”
Other supporters and sponsors of the team include the University of Tasmania, Scody clothing, Bell helmets, Skins compression garments and TORQ nutrition and energy bars.