Jorge Sandoval says “things just got interesting” after it was announced that the just launched Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy will make its debut at next month’s New Zealand Cycle Classic being staged in Wairarapa.

Yesterday, New Zealand’s own UCI Continental road cycling team Black Spoke was launched in Auckland. Packed with the country’s top cycling talent and supported by an array of experienced ex-professionals, Sandoval will welcome the team to the Wairarapa for the UCI 2.2 five stage race being held from January 15th – 19th. 

“I’m very excited to welcome Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy to the Wairarapa next month and look forward to seeing them make their debut at the New Zealand Cycle Classic,” says Sandoval. “While the team is new, there is such a strong connection with my race with many of the riders having claimed stage wins in previous tours while Hayden McCormick and Aaron Gate have previously won the overall title.”

Hayden McCormick with his unique Maori carving and yellow jersey is joined by his New Zealand National Team at the end of the 2018 race, a team that included James Oram and Luke Mudgway, photo: Dave Lintott /

“I’ve no doubt their inclusion will make for such an exciting race and I encourage as many spectators to get out and watch this team, and the others, in action – they won’t be disappointed.”

Headlining Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy are accomplished riders: Aaron Gate, gold medal winner at the recent UCI track racing competitions in Cambridge and Brisbane and defending champion for the New Zealand Cycle Classic; Hayden McCormick, the 2018 New Zealand Cycle Classic champion who is 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. Oram is also a previous stage winner at the NZ Cycle Classic.

Sandoval says having Black Spoke join the field of 17 teams will make things interesting.

“We’ve been fortunate in the past to see Oram, McCormick and Mudgeway all ride on the challenging routes in the Wairarapa and I’ve no doubt their knowledge and intel will help the team no-end … it’s fair to say, things just got interesting.”

The New Zealand Cycle Classic is the country’s premier cycle race being staged in the Wairarapa from January 15th – 19th 2020. The five-stage, elite international men’s road cycling race is the only Union Cycliste Internationale 2.2 event being staged in New Zealand in 2020. Seventeen teams – with 12 nationalities represented – will line up to contest the Tour title.

The 2020 NZ Cycle Classic is able to take place thanks to the generous support from Trust House, WBS, Mobile Communications Service, WIZwireless, Fagan Motors, Mitre 10 Mega Masterton and Lion Foundation plus all three Wairarapa District Councils.

Aaron Gate was a tour de force in the men’s omnium at the Brisbane round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, photo Guy Swarbrick

The Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy team for the New Zealand Cycle Classic 2020 is:

Aaron Gate

James Oram

Hayden McCormick

Ethan Batt

Josh Kench

Xander White


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