By Paul Verkuylen
A new Australian-based team has emerged from the coastal New South Wales city of Newcastle, with the squad hoping to build into a Professional Continental squad over the next three years. With a thriving cycling scene, local businesses have come together to form the base for a development squad with the aim of evolve young riders and prepare them for the step up to racing on the European or American scene.
Team Two Wheel Industries has been established by local bike shop owner Marek Jankowski. The entrepreneur has experience working with some top international teams in France and Poland, having worked with Cofidis and Mroz.
The team has modest ambitions for the remainder of this season but will be hoping to step up a notch next season by signing some more higher profile riders. The team, which already features the brother of T-Mobile women's team rider Oenone Wood, Jarrett Wood, is aiming at competitive appearances in Australian events such as the Timbercorp Cup and the Jayco Bay Series in Victoria. Management is also hoping the squad will have the chance to contest events abroad next season, with New Zealand's Tour of the Southlands one of its main objectives.
The squad has gained the backing of local businesses such as Newcastle Scrap Metal in addition to that of nation-wide organisations like Defence Jobs, whom has a strong presence in Newcastle due to the nearby Williamtown Air Force base.
Following a successful first outing in the Tamworth two day tour, where Mathew Camilleri and Wood took stage wins, as well as Matt Johns' King of the Mountains jersey, the team will be sending riders to the Grafton to Inverell and the Goulburn to Citi in September. The two events will allow the squad's riders to gain more experience against some of Australia's best riders in the two toughest events in NSW. Another major target for 2007 will be the Hunter Regional Trust Kermesse race later in the season.
The team includes a mix of Elite and Under 23 riders in addition to a handful of promising juniors and women, in keeping with its focus on building talent in the local area.
Team Two Wheel Industries: Nick Chevalley (U23), Jarrett Wood, Mathew Camilleri (U23), Matthew Johns, Scott Wines, Lewis Garland (U23), Duncan Kidd, Richard Munro Patrick Kilmurray (U23), Brendan Lachlan (U19)
Women: Kate Finagen, Jacinta Aitken (U19)
Veterans: Michael Rand, Robert Chapman
Team Managers: Marek Jankowski, Carl Thompson