Slipstream Sports, the company behind the Garmin-Transitions team, has added another New Zealander to its roster, signing 20-year-old Tom Scully to its Under 23 program for next season.
Scully joins compatriot Julian Dean at the outfit, which will be known as Garmin-Cervélo in 2011, in what is shaping up as one of the strongest squads in the peloton.
The news signals a successful return from injury for Scully, who crashed heavily into a power pole at 60 km/h while riding for the BikeNZ team at the FBD Insurance Ras earlier this year.
He sustained injuries that required three operations on a seriously damaged knee and tendons, with initial reports suggesting he would be out of the sport for a year.
His rehabilitation in Christchurch at the New Zealand Academy of Sport under BikeNZ head physiotherapist Mark Hollands was long and tough but the rewards now seem great for the promising kiwi.
"I spent a full day there every day. My day would include a spin bike session, gym work, core strength work, weights, physio and massage on the leg and lots of aqua jogging," Scully explained.
"I had the best treatment and I did absolutely everything I could to make sure I could come back as soon as possible and in good shape."
Scully rode the UCI Track World Cup round in Melbourne last year and impressed with a win in the Madison with Marc Ryan, his strength and tactical nous a standout in the performance. With a strong Spring Classics lineup that will include world champion Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar, Scully's track background meant he caught the eye of Slipstream management as a future option for the senior team.
"I'm really excited about the news," said Scully. "Slipstream is one of the really big professional teams and it is going to be a fantastic challenge and experience.
"Our track head coach Tim Carswell said that 2011 had to be a big year for me on the roads," he continued. "Through some contacts we had talked to Slipstream Sports but the accident stopped that. We got in touch with them again and they said they were interested - and we just had to assure them I was over the injury."