Australia has a new professional team for 2009, sponsored by Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation. Like its major sponsor, the team will have a trans-Pacific focus in 2009, running a comprehensive program that will take in races in the United States, Australia and Asia. In confirming the team's two-pronged racing program for 2009, team Director Chris White spoke about the team's prospects as it builds a roster of talent from Australia and North America.
"The program we're running in 2009 is ... multi-faceted and allows us to run a full-time talent development program in Australia in parallel with a US-based professional cycling team that will compete in the marquee events of the North American cycling calendar," said White. "I'm not aware of any other cycling team that's running a program like ours. The benefits are enormous – we're able to provide a nursery environment to nurture young talent and then provide a pathway to allow them to step fully into the pro ranks. This approach will give us tremendous growth potential and flexibility, as well as being a great environment for the riders."
White will be announcing the team roster in the coming days. "We've managed to pull together some pretty big names, some big horsepower guys! This is a world class team we're putting together, and we have the strength, depth, tenacity and experience to be in the mix in any race we enter in 2009."
White was also grateful for the support by the sponsors and particularly praised V Australia and the Successful Living Foundation. "We know that in international professional sport, cycling outperforms any other sport in terms of return on investment for sponsors."
The team made its debut at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Melbourne, Australia, which ends tomorrow. "With Bernie Sulzberger's win in Race 4 at Port Arlington and Jono Cantwell's fifth place we'll be one of the teams to look out for — at the Bay series and throughout 2009."