New Zealand is set to receive a further boost to its cycling success with the launch of the Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy team – our only UCI Continental squad with an end goal of seeing more New Zealand cyclists competing and winning on the world stage.

Announced today, the new Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy is packed with some of New Zealand’s top cycling talent and is supported by an array of experienced ex-professionals. General Manager Scott Guyton said ‘we believe Black Spoke delivers a missing step in the pathway to the top of the sport. Providing this clear pathway helps New Zealand’s existing talent unlock their potential and hopefully inspires future generations of Kiwis to consider cycling as a realistic professional sporting career’. 

Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy aims to be the missing step for New Zealanders in their journey to the top of the sport, photo Black Spoke Pro Cycling

Headlining the team are accomplished riders; Aaron Gate, gold medal winner at the recent UCI track racing competitions in Cambridge and Brisbane; Hayden McCormick, returning to New Zealand after several years racing in Europe and James Oram, who led the Mitchelton BikeExchange Continental team on the Asian circuit last year. 

The team also includes current Under 23 riders Luke Mudgway and Ethan Batt, as well as five current Under 19 riders who are making the step up to the Under 23 ranks in 2020. First year Under 23 riders include Kiaan Watts, Ari Scott, Josh Kench and Xander White. Developing and supporting young talent is a primary focus for Black Spoke.

Speaking of the move to Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy, Aaron Gate said, “The opportunity to develop my racing career with a New Zealand team that has big ambitions and is able to foot it on the world stage is amazing. Projects of this nature are rare and unique. With a Kiwi heart and soul, I know fans will support this around the globe.”

Aaron Gate joins the Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy in the middle of a busy and very successful track programme, photo Guy Swarbrick

First class talent is not just exclusive to the riders. Led by Scott Guyton, former professional and owner of one of Auckland’s most successful independent cycling stores, Black Spoke’s management bring a range of resources and experience to the table. Joining Scott is Australian broadcaster and Giro d’Italia stage winner David ‘Macca’ Mackenzie and high-performance coach, Marc Prutton. The team is backed by successful businessman Murray Bolton – a passionate Kiwi and cyclist with a drive for success. 

Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director Martin Barras applauds the initiative as ‘consolidating the pathways for New Zealand athletes into professional careers that support excellence on the world stage.’

The team will kick off their ambitious programme with the New Zealand Cycle Classic in the Wairarapa in January before tackling tours in Taiwan and Australia.  A full programme of racing in Asia, USA and Europe has been planned – and with a UCI License granted – the world’s road racing podiums await.

James Oram comes to the team from the Mitchelton-BikeExchange outfit that he’s been with in 2019, photo Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy

Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy team programme is made possible thanks to the support of Pinarello, Shimano, Giordana, Lazer, Pirelli and Armstrong Motor Group along with the New Zealand public.

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