JLT Condor, the British UCI Continental outfit that features our own Alex Frame, will return to the Wairarapa next week to contest the New Zealand Cycle Classic.
Team manager John Herety, a former British road racing champion, is looking forward to bringing his team, which includes triple Olympic track gold medallist Ed Clancy, back to New Zealand to contest the UCI 2.2 five-stage Cycle Classic which begins on Sunday, 22nd January with a 121km stage from Masterton to the spectacular coastal community of Castlepoint. Herety’s JLT Condor team has been in Australia for the last five weeks training and racing including winning the criterium series a week ago in Sydney.
“This will be the third time the team has come to the New Zealand Cycle Classic. It’s a race we really like and is a great way for us to start our 2017 season,” says Herety. “This year I’m pleased to announce we will be bringing triple Olympic track gold medallist Ed Clancy. Ed is taking a year away from his GB track commitments and will concentrate purely on the road for 2017. More than anything else he’s looking forward to helping New Zealand’s Alex Frame on the sprint stages of the race. The team’s GC hopes will rest with Steve Lampier who has spent the last few months in New Zealand preparing for the European season. This Classic will be one of his main goals for 2017.”
Clancy, Frame and Lampier will have the company of Jon McCarthy and Alistair Slater. Born in Ireland, McCarthy moved to Australia aged eight and soon gained the attention of Cycling Australia. He’s a solid sprinter and demonstrated his potential in the elite ranks with a win at the Herald SunTour in 2014.
Experienced rider Steve Lampier is a talented climber and in 2016 finished 5th overall in the New Zealand Cycling Classic while Slater is a talented young rider and is developing a reputation for making breakaway moves in the bunch while Frame was part of the 2015 World Team Pursuit championship team and will be a formidable force on the flat stages.
As well as confirming JLT Condor’s attendance, New Zealand Cycle Classic race director Jorge Sandoval also confirmed four more Australian teams will be taking part. These include Oliver’s Real Food Racing and Cobra9 Interbuild Racing team who both attended the 2016 event while newcomers are the Van D’am Racing team and Mobius Future Racing team.
“Australian riders have a long tradition with our event and have won five of the last nine tours with all five winners signed up by top Pro tour teams a few weeks later,” says Sandoval. “We will have a total of five strong Australian teams in this month’s event plus the other UCI teams already announced. I am very excited. It could be anyone’s race really. The first two hard days of racing will give us a better idea of who is going well to take the title,” Sandoval says.
The JLT Condor outfit for the New Zealand Cycle Classic is: