New Zealand Continental team Avanti have added IsoWhey as a title sponsor in 2016 and several tired and tested National Road Series (NRS) riders to its 2016 roster. The top NRS team for the last five years running, Avanti have added three riders from the African Wildlife Safaris team in Sean Lake, Pat Lane and Oscar Stevenson and welcomed onboard Robbie Hucker from Drapac.
"Lake has been a fast improver since crossing over from rowing and recently became the first back to back winner of the Grafton to Inverell. Lane is crafty and will slot straight into our leadership group sharing road captain duties with Pat Shaw," team owner Andrew Christie-Johnston explained.
Lake won back-to-back Grafton to Inverell titles this season while Lane adds further Continental experience having ridden with the Synergy Baku squad.
Following Avanti's training camp in Tasmania, performance director Mark Fenner believes the team can get the best out of the 25-year-old Hucker after a few illness interrupted seasons and is equally excited by the prospect of Sam Chrome joining the squad from CharterMason-Giant.
"Robbie is a rider we know well. Numbers don't lie, we know what he’s capable of and we think he'll blossom in our environment," Fenner said, adding of Chrome, "Sam goes up hill well and has a good kick for a climber. We think with good support he will be another prolific winner next year."
Further additions to the roster include U23 riders Stevenson, Ben O'Connor, and Kiwi duo Liam Aitcheson and Mathew Zenovich who Fenner sees as long term development prospects that will be free to race without instant pressure for results.
The team has lost Patrick Bevin to Cannondale-Garmin and Taylor Gunman to Madison Genesis after both riders enjoyed highly successful seasons. However Avanti retain the services of two former NRS champions in Joe Cooper and Pat Shaw and stalwarts Mark O'Brien, Neil Van Der Ploeg and Anthony Giacoppo.
Avanti IsoWhey are set to start its season at both the Australian and New Zealand national championships in the first week of January with starts to follow at the 1.HC Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and 2.1 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
2016 Avanti IsoWhey Sports team roster: Pat Shaw, Joe Cooper, Fraser Gough, Liam Aitcheson (U23), Pat Lane, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Oscar Stevenson (U23), Mark O'Brien, Mathew Zenovich (U23), Neil Van Der Ploeg, Anthony Giacoppo, Chris Hamilton (U23), Sean Lake, Ben O'Connor (U23), Robbie Hucker, Luke Mudgeway (U23), Regan Gough (U23), Sam Crome, Cameron Karwowski and Pat Lane.