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Eclipse Pro Cycling toughen up ahead of key season

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 09, 2012, 4:47 GMT,
Updated:
January 09, 2012, 5:12 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 9, 2012
Jayco/2XU team manager and former European pro-rider Patrick Jonker with his gold medallist and stage winner Benjamin Hill.

Jayco/2XU team manager and former European pro-rider Patrick Jonker with his gold medallist and stage winner Benjamin Hill.

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Two squads chasing the best in the NRS

Eclipse Pro Cycling heads into the 2012 season with a bumper roster for its two squads, the previously announced under 23 team, Jayco-Honey Shotz, and elite outfit RBS Morgan-ATS with both set to make their mark on the Australasian racing circuit.

Embarking on its sophomore season, RBS Morgans-ATS (known as Jayco-2XU in 2011) has announced its roster for 2012, the team significantly stronger and more experienced with an eye to setting a new standard for Australian domestic racing.

Gunning to improve on its fourth-placed ranking in Australia's National Road Series from 2011, the RBS Morgans-ATS roster is a mix of youth and experience with the skill to claim results over all terrains.

Sports Director Pat Jonker said that with a best-ever roster will come higher expectations for the team.

"Looking at all the NRS teams closely it is clear that we have five even six teams that are all very evenly matched so it promises to be a very exciting 2012 NRS series," he said. "Both teams will strive to be the number one NRS team in 2012 they will be racing against each other not with each other.

"We now have a second directeur sportifs, two mechanics and two soigneurs, so the structure of the program is very strong. As Sports Director it is my responsibility to ensure the success of this program."

New signings for RBS Morgans-ATS include 2011 Joe Martin Stage Race stage winner Cam Peterson. The 28-year-old turned full-time this season, and riding with V Australia found his peak at the Tour of Tasmania where he finished third on general classification behind winner Nathan Haas (Genesys) and then the following week, took out the KOM classification at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

Canberra-based 22-year-old Joe Lewis has found refuge at RBS Morgans-ATS following the shock collapse of PureBlack Racing. A stage winner of the Tour of the Gila in 2011 while racing for Trek-LiveStrong in his first season racing in the United States, Lewis previously took out the Tour of Bright in 2010.

Former Australian National Team representative and runner-up on general classification at the Tour of Hainan (2010), Johnnie Walker will also ride for RBS Morgans-ATS in 2012. Hayden Brooks, and 2009 Tour of Geelong winner Darren Rolfe bring valuable experience to the squad.

Returning riders Nic Dougall, James Hepburn, Victorian Open Road Championship winner Ben Hill and Grafton to Inverell winner, Mark Jamieson will all be looking to continue to continue their ascendency of 2011. Meantime former Australian mountain bike representative Trenton Day, and Ben Kersten who claimed a dozen podium finishes for the team, both return having joined the squad late in 2011.

Eclipse Pro Cycling will also support Jamieson, a former world champion on the track, in his bid to gain Paralympic selection for London 2012 as a pilot for Bryce Lindores.

Meantime, Jayco-Honey Shotz is a partner in Cycling Australia's High Performance program and designed to provide an additional stepping stone for young Australian male road talent aiming toward selection into under 23 National teams and the Jayco-AIS Continental Team.

Eclipse Pro Cycling's experienced staff, including Pat Jonker, Raoul Luescher, Rachael Gibson and Kat Murray receives a further boost with renowned coach and Director Sportif Warren McDonald adding his experience to the program.

"The environment we are trying to create is that of physical and mental toughness," Jonker explained. "We search for riders who are willing to suffer make sacrifices and are hungry to win races who themselves dream of racing the Tour de France someday basically we hope to see at least a few of our riders eventually racing at WorldTour level and for that to happen we need to further develop our boys into hardened, tough all-round riders. It's up to all the people at EPC to create this environment and we are slowly but surely getting there 2012 will be a crucial year I expect our boys to match the best NRS teams and with the quality that we have anything less will not be acceptable."

Eclipse Pro Cycling continues to attract unrivalled corporate backing in 2012 with program sponsors Altitude Technology Solutions, Audi, Ausenco, BMC, Bonk Breaker, Capilano–Honeyshotz, Craggy Range, Flight Centre-Healthwise Active Travel, Garmin, Jayco, Kask, Luescher Teknik, Paradice Investments, Prologo, RBS Morgans, Ronde, Schwalbe, Seasucker, Shimano, Salice, SIS and 2XU.

Jayco-Honey Shotz 2012 squad: Jack Beckinsale, Edward Bissaker, Alex Edmondson, David Edwards, Jackson Law, Bradley Linfield, Mitch Lovelock Fay, and Jordan Kerby.

RBS Morgans-ATS 2012 squad: Hayden Brooks, Trenton Day, Nic Dougall, James Hepburn, Ben Hill, Mark Jamieson, Ben Kersten, Joe Lewis, Cam Peterson, Darren Rolfe, and Johnnie Walker.

Eclipse Pro Cycling made its debut on the Australian National Road Series for the 2011 season, claiming impressive victories at the Victorian Open Road Championship with Ben Hill, the gruelling Tour of Tasmania team time trial on Mt Wellington and most recently the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic where Mark Jamieson posted the fastest time in the event's 51-year history.

 

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