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William Clarke (Leopard Trek) before stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under.
New Pro Continental team filling its roster
Cycling's newest Professional Continental team, Champion System, announced its first signings in the past week. Australians Will Clarke and Aaron Kemps and New Zealand's Clinton Avery will join the Asian team along with Estonians Jan Kirsipuu and Mart Ojavee, German Matthias Friedemann and Swiss rider Joris Hoillat, and Asian riders Wu Kin San, Xu Gang and Jaio Pang Da.
Clarke raced the 2011 season with the Leopard Trek team, which has now been folded into the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek merger, while Kemps, a winner of a stage of the Tours of China and Qinghai Lake this year, raced the past two seasons with the V Australia team, competing primarily in the USA and Asia.
Avery, 23, raced in 2010 as a trainee for RadioShack but signed on with the failed Pegasus team. He raced the season in Belgium as an elite rider, winining the Vlaamse Pijl-Harelbeke and a stage at Kreiz Breizh Tour.
"We're fortunate to have three strong and experienced players from the Southern Hemisphere" said Champion System team Manager Ed Beamon.
"Aaron certainly has the most depth of experience. He is a very fast finisher who will have the opportunity to take a leadership position in the kicks next year. Will and Clinton are big strong guys who like the aggressive racing and I think they add a real depth to the program. The fact that Aaron and Will have a winning history in Asia really compliments what we're attempting to accomplish with the Champion System team."