Cycling New Zealand has named an exciting young team to contest the New Zealand Cycle Classic starting in the Wairarapa next week.
The New Zealand team includes leading members of the Vantage Elite Track Team along with some of the country’s emerging road talent. They will line up alongside 17 other teams to contest the five-stage, elite international New Zealand Cycle Classic, the only Union Cycliste Internationale 2.2 category stage race in New Zealand this year.
Leading New Zealand are former junior track world champions, including current omnium elite world champion Campbell Stewart, and Christchurch’s Bailey O’Donnell with current national under-19 road representative from Auckland, Jacob Hannan.
The team also includes three riders who are signed for some of the biggest under-23 development teams in the world. Nelson’s Finn Fisher-Black is going to World Tour Team Jumbo Visma’s development academy, Southland’s Corbin Strong has signed with SEG Racing and Auckland’s Connor Brown with NTT Continental (formerly Dimension Data).
Cycling New Zealand’s Graeme Hunn says a long list of outstanding New Zealand riders have earned recognition and invaluable experience competing in the New Zealand Cycle Classic and he’s confident this year’s team will be no exception.
“There is an esteemed list of former winners from New Zealand who have gone on to establish outstanding careers on the road including the likes of George Bennett, with his success in the Cycle Classic helping promote his cause,” says Hunn.
“We have an exciting group of young riders who have all had some level of international experience and success on the road and the track, with several of them heading overseas to join quality international professional teams this year.”
“We also have two of our most exciting young track riders competing, who have reputations on the road, but will be using this Tour as they build towards their goal of selection for the Tokyo Olympics on the track.”
New Zealand Cycle Classic race director Jorge Sandoval welcomes Cycling New Zealand’s support of his Tour once again.
“I’m very pleased to welcome the New Zealand national team back to the Wairarapa and think it’s great that Cycling New Zealand has selected such a young and exciting team, with some of the best talent in the country,” says Sandoval. “I wish them well.”
The 2020 NZ Cycle Classic begins in Masterton on Wednesday, 15th January with a 122km stage. Over the following four days the field of 108 riders, representing 12 nationalities, will complete 668.6km in total. Stages will be raced around the townships of Masterton, Carterton and the wine village of Martinborough as well as on roads that weave through rolling rural countryside and past olive groves and vineyards.
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.
“My team and I are very grateful for all the support from our sponsors and key stakeholders and together look forward to making this New Zealand’s biggest international cycle tour,” says Sandoval.