placing in the U23 Category at the Tour of Southland.
Team Manager, Brad Tilby says, “Nick has continued to build his skill set both here and overseas on the bike. This year he has come of age and has converted his form into results. We have had guys like Patrick Bevin move on to Avanti Racing and Sam Lindsay break his collarbone last week at SRAM Tour de Ranges. Nick has proven that he can compete in New Zealand’s biggest races and has been rewarded with the team leadership.”
The Nature Valley Avanti Team will bring a solid line-up to the tour with a mixture of youth and experience. Andy Hagan fills the role as road captain for the team and brings a wealth of knowledge to the line-up. Tilby says, “Andy has one of the best cycling brains in the country, he has competed on the domestic scene for a long time and has the uncanny knack of being in the right place when the pace goes on. He is a guy that has won the Tour de Vineyards in the past and has numerous medals at the club nationals. He is the guy you can depend on to get the most out of a group of riders and we are lucky to have him in our line up”. Completing the line-up is Reon Nolan, Alex Heaney and Nick Reddish. Reon and Alex will be the engine room of the team with both coming from strong TT backgrounds. Tilby says, “These guys have consistently shown they are true team players with big motors and will be the ones to set the likes of Nick and Andy up for the day”. Reddish joins the team after a strong showing at The Hub Tour in Napier at the start of the year. Tim Stephens will manage the team, having previously managed Armstrong Motor Group Team.
The Team, sponsored by Nature Valley Muesli Bars and the Avanti Bikes should be one of the strongest all NZ lineups in the peloton. Tilby says, “Our expectations for the tour will be firstly to compete for the U23 with Nick Bain and also look to be represented in breakaways. We have been unfortunate to lose both Sam Lindsay (collarbone) and Callum Gordon (leg injury) in the last week but lucky to have some exciting talent step in. There are many top teams at the tour with strong lineups, it’s a case of knowing your strengths and following the right moves. The key stages that are set to break the race up is the initial short and sharp prologue followed by the first hilltop finish. At this point we should know largely who the main players are and what options we have.”
Below is the full line up for the Nature Valley Avanti Cycling Team that will compete in the NZCT Cycle Classic:
Tim Stephens (team manager)