James Oram’s 2019 season is confirmed, with the former ONE Pro Cycling rider joining forces with Mitchelton-BikeExchange – the former team of New Zealand’s favourite Aussie Robert Stannard – for the season that begins with the Tour de Langkawi on April 6th.
It’s been a nervous wait for a number of riders trying to find contracts in 2019 with a number of teams shutting down last year. Oram’s three-year tenure with ONE Pro Cycling came to an end in September at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and then saw him, along with several others including then teammate Hayden McCormick forced to wait in hope.
McCormick ended up signing with Team BridgeLane, but for Oram the summer that included racing at Criterium Nationals and then consistent performances at the National Road Championships in Napier, the Gravel and Tar Classic where he finished 4th, and the New Zealand Cycle Classic where he placed 9th; unfolded with uncertainty still hanging in the air.
But patience has paid off for the Aucklander who will team up with Mitchelton-BikeExchange for a calendar that will be more focussed towards the Asia this year than last season which was much more European-focussed.
Oram is one of two new arrivals to the team that is made up of six Chinese riders, the new signing in Colombian Brayan Chaves and the Kiwi.
Mitchelton-BikeExchange General Manager Shayne Bannan said, in a team statement, that the team feel the Asian circuit will be a more beneficial avenue to pursue in 2019.
“We believe a heavier focus on the Asian circuit is a better way forward for all parties at the current time and we’re excited about the plans for this season.”
“Whilst the full racing calendar is yet to be finalised, we’re looking forward to kicking off the year at the Tour of Langkawi next month.”
The Mitchelton-BikeExchange team for 2019 is: