The newly formed Australian domestic cycling team Search2retain was launched last weekend at its title sponsor's office in Port Melbourne. The team announced its intentions of becoming a well-established force in both the Australian mountain bike and road racing scene for 2011 and beyond. With a diverse crop of young and experienced road and mountain bike riders, the packed search2retain offices were buzzing with anticipation on how the 2011 season would pan out for this new combo-style team.
Team Director and Search2retain Managing Director Peter Shandon was excited for the 2011 season with already some good results starting to show, but conceded the team was a long term venture and would need time to show its real power on the mountain bike and road racing circuits.
23-year-old Rider Scott Liston touched on the divide that he sees as a racer of both disciplines. He expressed concern that for what he called a stigma of a divide between mountain bikers and roadies which he feels has hindered the development of Australian cyclists.
"The two disciplines of cross country mountain bike racing and road racing compliment each other incredibly well. It's amazing there aren't more combined teams out there," said Liston.
"In a perfect cycling community self proclaimed 'roadies' would compete in mountain bike events, and mountain bikers would compete in road events, we would all be labelled as cyclists and at the elite level the riders would benefit from larger fields with more competition."
The team and sponsors acknowledge their team of combined disiciplines as a bold move within Australian cycling and a way to help close the stigmatised gap between roadies and mountain bikers.
Search2retain's plan for 2011 is to compete in all National Road Series (NRS) and national mountain bike sanctioned events, also including big named events such as the 2011 NSW Criterium Series, the 2012 Bay Criterium Series and the three big 24-hour mountain bike events within Australia: The MONT24, The Scott24 and the Jeep24. They also intend to compete in at least two Asian road tours and one Asian mountain bike tour and are earmarking the Tour of Timor (mountain bike) and Tour d'Indonesia (road) as possible events.
The team is racing on Felt road and mountain bikes.
2011 Search2retain Team
Brodie Talbot (New South Wales)
Cal Britten (Victoria)
Jack Lamshed (Victoria)
Jake Klajnblat (Victoria)
James Boal (Victoria)
Jay Bourke (Victoria)
Luke Fetch (Victoria)
Neil van Der Ploeg (Victoria)
Paul van Der Ploeg (Victoria)
Scott Liston (Victoria)
Steven Robb (Victoria)
Nathan Elliott (Victoria)
Tom Donald (Victoria)
Peter Shandon (Team Director)
William Walker (Team Coach)
Scott Liston (Marketing and Communications)
Mark Isaacs (Assistant Manager)
Chris Steffanoni (Assistant Director Sportif)