Team Skoda Racing will look to build on their team classification win at the Gravel and Tar Classic that they took last year when they line up this weekend for the race they describe as their favourite. The team of five sees the return of Alex West to the line up, who has twice finished second in this event.
It is Alex West’s favourite event and it’s easy to see why with his clear road talent combined with his rich history as a mountain biker. He has shown in the last two editions of the race that he is more than a little ideally suited to the event, and he’ll need to the be. This year’s newly UCI classified event will take in a longer 132km course and a total of 40km of gravel racing.
Alongside him for the event though will be Jack Compton who along with West featured as two top-10 riders at last year’s event. Compton finished 6th ahead of the likes of Sam Horgan and newly crowned King of the Mountains at the New Zealand Cycle Classic, Dylan Newberry.
Adding further firepower to the team will be the additions of U19 national road race champion Ben Hamilton and Bradley Leitch. Their strength will be further complimented by Eden Cruise who will bring his mountain biking pedigree to the race. Cruise was crowned U19 Mountain Biking champion for New Zealand before he moved up to U23 ranks. Together the team are set to push for a real assault on the course, and for Alex West, Ben Hamilton and Bradley Leitch it will be an opportunity to build on the near full week of intense racing they put into the legs at the New Zealand Cycle Classic where they came away with the best young rider’s jersey on the shoulders of Robert Stannard and third overall.
The Team Skoda Racing line up for the Gravel & Tar Classic is: