Fresh off one of their most successful seasons ever Avanti IsoWhey Sports today announced their lineup for 2016. Despite fare welling Paddy Bevin and Taylor Gunman who collected an impressive list of victories between them the team looks to have recruited well with a renewed focus on developing young talent.
Heading the list of signings are African Wild Life Safaris duo Sean Lake and Patrick Lane. Team owner Andrew Christie-Johnston is really happy with both riders. “Lake has been a fast improver since crossing over from rowing and recently became the first back-to-back winner of the Grafton to Inverell. Lane is crafty and will slot straight into our leadership group sharing road captain duties with Pat Shaw,” he said.
Bendigo rider Robbie Hucker is another marquee signing having long been on the radar of team management. Despite some persistent health problems over the last two years Performance Director Mark Fenner is confident that Hucker still has much to offer. “Robbie is a rider we know well. Numbers don’t lie, we know what he’s capable of and we think he’ll blossom in our environment,” Mark said. Another Victorian Sam Crome comes across from Charter Mason and will help strengthen the teams climbing stocks. “Sam goes up hill well and has a good kick for a climber. We think with good support he will be another prolific winner next year,” said Fenner.
The team has recruited well for the U23 ranks with Oscar Stevenson and Ben O’Connor offering some much needed support for reigning U23 Criterium Champion Chris Hamilton in Australia. “Oscar was 2nd in the U23 TT at last years Nationals in a close finish,” said Fenner. “The lad is extremely focused and disciplined and should be a strong chance again.” West Australian O’Connor rode for Navitas Satalyst this season and showed his climbing worth in this years National Capital Tour finishing second on stage two. “Ben can climb and TT but he’s only young so we won’t be putting too much pressure on him. He still has a lot of improvement and is posting some impressive test results, he’ll be very good.”
Kiwi U23’s Liam Aitcheson and Mathew Zenovich have also signed on for 2016. Both were picked up after impressive Tour of Southland performances. “Liam and Matt are tough Kiwis’s that know how to hurt,” said Fenner “Liam’s got a huge engine and will surprise some people next year as will Matt . They’re both from the South Island which is a tough proving ground.” At this year’s Tour of Southland Liam Aitcheson stormed to victory in stage 4 up Coronet Peak; a climb he knows well. In that same stage Zenovich finished third after another day of aggressive racing; a habit of the young Kiwi.
The full Avanti IsoWhey Sports roster for 2016 is
Pat Shaw, Joe Cooper, Fraser Gough, Liam Aitcheson (u23), Pat Lane, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Oscar Stevenson (u23), Mark O’Brien, Mathew Zenovich (U23), Neil Van Der Ploeg, Anthony Giacoppo, Chris Hamilton (u23), Sean Lake, Ben O’Connor (u23), Robbie Hucker, Luke Mudgway(u23), Regan Gough (u23), Sam Crome, Cameron Karwowski and Pat Lane.