The southaustralia.com-AIS Cycling Team will continue operations in 2007 with a 16-rider roster of Australian cycling talent. The UCI Continental team in the Oceania Region integrates the U23 road development program as well as track endurance riders with major sponsorship support from the Australian Institute of Sport and the South Australian Tourism Commission.
"South Australia.com-AIS provides support, coaching, life skills and race experience within a structured environment so the riders are well equipped when they eventually make the transition to the ProTour ranks," said Brian Stephens, Team Director. "In 2006, Matt Goss and Matt Lloyd had the opportunity to develop to a point where both have now signed contracts with ProTour teams, Goss with CSC and Lloyd with Predictor-Lotto."
Professor Peter Fricker, Director of the Australian Institute of Sport, commented, "The partnership between Cycling Australia, the Australian Sports Commission - including the AIS - and the team's commercial sponsors has proved to be a great success for all involved and has given our scholarship holders the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally on the world stage."
Cycling Australia today also announced Teschner Technologies Group as the sponsor of southaustralia.com-AIS, providing the team with Australian-designed Teschner bikes throughout 2007. "We have had a lot of success with our race-winning designs - our bikes have taken Aussie men and women to over 200 major championship victories on the Australian, Commonwealth, World and Olympic stage," said designer and director Peter Teschner.
McGee Sports Australia has also confirmed it will continue its association with the team. "A primary focus of McGee Sports Australia is active involvement and positive input into the development of Australian cycling and young cycling talent which is why we are committed to the southaustralia.com-AIS team," said Brad McGee, a director of the company and one of Australia's most successful cyclists with Olympic and World Champion track gold medals and an impressive CV on the road. "I know what it takes to make the transition to a professional cycling career and southaustralia.com-AIS provides the structure and support young riders need to make that step."
The team will compete in two groups with one, primarily involving the U23 road riders, based in Italy from March to October and competing in Europe, while the second group of mainly track endurance riders will be based in Australia and contest events in Asia, Australia and Europe.
The first race on the team's 2007 calendar will be the Tour Down Under from January 16-21. The complete race calendar for the team will be confirmed in 2007.
The following riders have been signed to southaustralia.com-AIS for 2007:
Gene Bates (Sa) Elite
Simon Clarke (Vic) U23
Jonathon Clarke (Vic) Elite
Peter Dawson (Wa) Elite
Zakkari Dempster (Vic) U23
Sean Finning (Vic) U23
Michael Ford (Vic) U23
William Ford (Vic) U23
Shaun Higgerson (Nsw) Elite
Mark Jamieson (Tas) Elite
Cameron Meyer (Wa) U23
Miles Olman (Qld) U23
Nic Sanderson (Vic) Elite
Wesley Sulzberger (Tas) U23
Johnnie Walker (Vic) U23
Stephen Wooldridge (Nsw) Elite
southaustralia.com-AIS also announced the continued support of Mapei, Cyclingnews.com, Pacific Brands, Santini, Shimano, Vittoria, Malaysia Airlines and Leber.
More on the team can be found at: www.southaustralia-ais.com.