Top Pro Continental Cycling Team to make world debut in New Zealand
The first ever Professional Continental road cycling team to come out of Britain will make their world debut in New Zealand next year.
The ONE Pro Cycling team, who recently gained an UCI Pro Continental licence for 2016 making them eligible to receive invites to the world’s biggest races including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, will compete in the New Zealand Cycle Classic held entirely in the Wairarapa from January 20th – 24th 2016.
Making the announcement today, NZ Cycle Classic race director Jorge Sandoval says he looks forward to welcoming ONE Pro Cycling to New Zealand next year to take part in the only UCI Sanctioned international stage on these shores for 2016.
“We are excited about having such a highly ranked team take part in the New Zealand Cycle Classic and it will be a real treat for cycling followers to see them racing right here throughout the Wairarapa,” says Sandoval.
ONE Pro Cycling’s full squad includes nine British riders, three Australians, three Danish, two Polish and three New Zealanders including Tasmanian Tour de France and Tour of Italy stage winner Matt Goss; former Garmin-Sharp rider Steele Von Hoff and Britain’s Kristian House while New Zealand fans can look forward to cheering on James Oram, Dion Smith and Hayden McCormick.
Kiwi rider Dion Smith is being touted for big things after a fifth place at the Tour of Alberta and numerous top ten finishes during the recent USA Pro Challenge with the Hincapie Team. He is looking forward to racing for a new team.
“When I was offered the chance to join ONE Pro Cycling, the decision was an easy one. The team are already pursuing the direction I want to go and they have great opportunities for me to develop and grow as a rider,” he says.
Hayden McCormick is the youngest of the Kiwi trio to sign for ONE Pro Cycling. He moves from the Lotto-Soudal U23 Team to join ONE Pro Cycling and can’t wait to develop within a new team as an individual whilst being surrounded by two of his kiwi-mates.
ONE Pro Cycling Sports Director Matt Winston is excited about seeing his team debut in New Zealand, in particular in the Wairarapa.
‘We are all very excited about bringing ONE Pro Cycling to New Zealand for the first time. It will be the first race of our season and we are already eager to get underway,” he says. “I know the New Zealand Cycle Classic is well established and we’re looking forward to taking part in a race which is now a key event on the UCI calendar. Five days of international racing on some of the best roads the country has to offer, what more could you ask for?”
Winston says the team will have a completely new dynamic in 2016 with a lot of new and experienced riders added to their roster.
“We want to kick start our season with a strong performance so we’ll be aiming for a stage win whilst in New Zealand,” he says.
“Having the three young kiwi riders in the team is a big bonus, we plan to give all three of them an opportunity to start on their home turf. It’s important at ONE Pro Cycling that we continue to develop our riders and there’s no better place than taking part in an international race in your home country. So barring illness or injury all three will be there and hungry for a good result,” says Winston.
Apart from the three kiwi riders who are expected to start and be the first ever New Zealand riders to compete in an international stage race in New Zealand riding for their pro team, the squad will include two other top British riders.
Leading the charge on his visit to New Zealand is top British rider Kristian House who joined the team after eight successful seasons with JLT Condor and a British National Road Race title. He has a wealth of experience competing around the world and will be a key addition to the team. House’s tenacious riding style has brought him wins in the National Road Race Championships, the overall classification of the Tour of South Africa, the King of the Mountains title at the Tour of Britain, as well as stage wins in the Tour of Japan, Vuelta Leon, and a number of Tour Series and Premier Calendar victories in the UK.
The other rider in the team is Josh Hunt who has had a very good season for ONE Pro Cycling in 2015 playing a key and consistent role in supporting his teammates. Hunt formed part of the Team Time Trial squad that secured second place in the Ronde van Midden earlier this year. Josh will play a vital role in the team next season.
“There is a lot of experience in the ONE Pro Cycling team,” Sandoval says. “Some of their riders have taken part in big races in Asia, America and Europe. Let’s see how they adapt to the New Zealand conditions, the entry of high ranked teams such as this is the results from all the work done over the last 29 years of the Classic, it is of importance to cycling in New Zealand” Sandoval said. “
The five-stage New Zealand Cycle Classic is being held from January 20th – 24th 2016 and Sandoval looks forward to announcing more of the international teams coming to the Wairarapa over the coming weeks. A highlight of the event will be stage 4 on Saturday, January 23rd when riders complete a 160km that takes in some of the highest hills in Wairarapa and finishes atop of Admiral Hill in the Gladstone district.
For more information please contact Jorge Sandoval 0274 464300 or visit his website www.cycletournz.com
Team ONE Pro Cycling website: http://oneprocycling.com/