Aaron S. Lee stopped for a chat with Morgan Smith of the St George Continental Cycling Team during this year’s Tour de Langkawi. Smith took the time to look ahead at the season, talk about the contrast in cycling cultures between Asia and home; and also prod the bear that is the rivalry for the ‘Kiwi Cup’.
Quick pre-race chat with @morgzracer (NZL) of the @STGCCteam as he talks to @Eurosport about racing @ltdlofficial, @NZWarriors victory over @goldcoasttitans in @NRL action and the fabled “Kiwi Cup”
| via @EurosportAUS @roadcycling #homeofcycling #LTDL2018 pic.twitter.com/nFM5jYPNyd
— Aaron S. Lee (@aaronshanelee) March 18, 2018
2018 is Morgan Smith’s second year racing in St George Continental Cycling colours, and this year is his first outing at the Tour de Langkawi. The UCI 2.HC race is 8 days of top quality racing in Malaysia that draws World Tour teams of the calibre of Dimension Data and Astana. So far Smith has been on domestique duties, looking after the interests of team sprinter Kaden Groves, who has achieved top ten finishes in both of the race’s two stages so far.
After Morgan’s first outing in St George colours, he is happy with where the team ended and is looking forward to what lies ahead in 2018. “We had a pretty good year last year I thought. We’ve built on what the team had already, we got some awesome results and 2018 is going to be good, we’re stoked and excited,” Smith told Aaron S. Lee.
Asked about the contrast between the cycling cultures in Asia and Australasia, Smith was honest about how he sees them being poles apart. “It’s chalk and cheese, back home you might get 20 people on the side of the road. Over here everyone stops what they’re doing, the whole city comes to a stop and everyone’s so happy and so excited you’re here,” he said. “I’m a Kiwi and I live in Australia, those two places are home for me, but those two places riding your bike are a lot more dangerous than anywhere in the world. There are so many more people here but you feel so much safer.”
Kiwi @Mattzenovich talks to @Eurosport & @roadcycling at @ltdlofficial about the current @STGCCteam squad, his 2018 preparations and cycling in Asia-Pacific … | via @EurosportAUS #homeofcycling #ltdl2018 pic.twitter.com/alUqvzuoBg
— Aaron S. Lee (@aaronshanelee) March 20, 2018
St George Continental Cycling aren’t the only Australian cycling outfit present at the Tour de Langkawi, with Mitchelton-BikeExchange present and also Bennelong SwissWellness; the team of former national road and time trial champion Joseph Cooper. Make no mistake, the rivalry between Kiwis is real; especially when one has jumped ship and abandoned the mighty Vodafone Warriors! There is more than just race honours at stake when it comes to Kiwi rivalry . . .
“There’s the Kiwi Cup that’s the biggest one,” Smith explained. “We’ve got 2 Kiwis – me and Zeno [Matt Zenovich] – and old J.C Driver [Joseph Cooper] over there has already had a loss this week, the Warriors beat his Titans so he already owes me a six-pack so make sure to let him know that. But the Kiwi Cup is where it’s at.”