Spoken Cycles have confirmed that they will take to the start line at both of New Zealand’s premier UCI events in the 2018-2019 season; at the New Zealand Cycle Classic and the Gravel & Tar Classic. The team launched their new outfit this season which features new signings including Josh Kuysten and Michael Torckler.
This year three teams will feature under the Spoken Cycles banner, from categories 1-3. GD Pringle Building, St Kilda Cafe & Bistro, Hunting & Fishing, Waipa Plumbing & Gas, SiS Nutrition and OneGirl & Co and Champion System have all come on board to sponsor the outfit that have ambitious intent heading into the summer of racing.
“It’s really big [for us],” Blair told RoadCycling regarding the addition of multiple sponsors to the line up. “Right at the start it was always [about] trying to develop young riders and I think we’ve done that this year. We’ve got two of our guys who have ridden for our team over the past two years off to junior worlds; so it shows that riding with guys like Alex [Heaney], Logan [Griffin], Michael Torckler this year and Josh Kuysten that they’re going to learn a lot. These guys are experienced . . . Mike’s been a pro, Logan’s raced at a high level; so they’re going to learn and just love giving stuff back to the juniors.”
Big news for the team includes the category 1 outfit that is, as Blair Taylor describes, a ‘pretty stacked team’. This team will be competing at both of New Zealand’s UCI road race events, at the New Zealand Cycle Classic, which this year will be run out of the Waikato area; and the Gravel & Tar Classic in the Manawatu. Wetting the appetite will be the uniting of former rivals-turned-teammates Torckler & Kuysten with Griffin & Heaney. The quartet have been among the most forefront in domestic racing on opposing teams at Spoken Cycles and Blindz Direct, but with the former duo among the new signings for the team, expectations are high that this outfit will not just find their feet but really hit the ground running in 2018-19.
Spoken Cycles will be one of only five New Zealand outfits at the 2019 New Zealand Cycle Classic; running from 23rd-27th January. “We’re really proud to get a start,” Taylor told us. “The thing that makes it exciting is the stable of riders we’ve got to choose from. Having Michael Torckler, Alex, Logan, Josh, it’s going to be hard to make the team! We’ve got some choices so that’s really cool.”
Winner of the inaugural Gravel & Tar Classic, Logan Griffin, is excited to see what the past two years can bring about with the new-look outfit now in a better and stronger place than ever before. “It’ll be really cool, we’ve stepped up with what we’ve been doing over the last few years as a team. It’ll be cool to go back to Gravel & Tar,” Logan said. “There’s a great mix of youth and experience in the team. Both me and Mike have done well in that race before so that’ll be great fun.”
“There’s no reason we can’t be a factor in just about every race domestically this season,” Logan told us. “I think the biggest surprise for a lot of people is how well these young riders are going to do.”
Also featuring alongside the team will be young rider Xander White, Sam Cook who was selected for the New Zealand Junior team for the UCI World Road Championships in Austria, and World Championship & Commonwealth Games mountain bike winner Sam Gaze who was also crowned Criterium National champion in Takapuna on the road.
The category 1 team for Spoken Cycles in the 2018-2019 season is:
The category 2 outfit for Spoken Cycles in the 2018-2019 season is:
The category 3 team for the Spoken Cycles outfit is: