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Riders and staff from GPM-Data#3 with their Focus team bike for the coming season
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The team directed by former professional Trent Wilson was presented in the squad’s hometown of Sydney this week with 16 riders making up the roster for 2013. A mix of new and existing riders will race in the new colours of GPM-Data#3 for the coming season as the team looks to make further impact in the Australian National Road Series.
Wilson had just put the team through a demanding four-day training camp in and around the outskirts of Sydney with many of the new riders - not accustomed to the duly named "death camp" - slightly shocked by the distance and terrain. The team covered in excess of 800km over the four days and while all the riders were tested with drills, efforts and specific instructions, Wilson believes this style of pre-season work is vital for the team to gel together.
"They certainly had to push through that barrier. You might have a tough day and then you have a teammate alongside helping you and giving you a push. The idea is to encourage the team to go from just a bunch of guys to being really good teammates," said team director Wilson.
"It was designed to see who would crack and how people would handle that if it became too much. That’s really all part of the bonding," he said.
The gruelling training camp also served as part of the team's preparation ahead of a busy start to the year that will begin on 1 January at the Mitchelton Bay Cycle Classic. The 'Bay Crits' will be promptly followed by the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the Australian National Championships in Ballarat.
While the full roster for GPM-Data#3 had been previously announced, the presentation given at a local Sydney bike store gave the sponsors and supporters of the team a chance to gather in what will likely be one of the only opportunities over the next twelve months.
Remaining competitive throughout the NRS calendar means Wilson has put together a number of different contingents to target specific races. The criterium-heavy NRS tours will no doubt suit the fast-men with additions like Joe Lewis and the 2012 under-23 national criterium champion Scott Law added to the 16-man group. The climbing side of the team has also been strengthen with upcoming talent Jesse Ewart and a number of others which should see the team high on the standings throughout the season.
"We’ve built a really good team. We’ve got probably two different parts of the team - maybe even three."
"We’ve got a criterium team, a great lead-out and Scott Law is on board. Joe Lewis will be leading him out and he’s a top sprinter in his own right. I watched them [during the final day of the camp] doing sprint drills. It’s going to be a tough ask to come off those two especially with Josh Taylor, Sam Rutherford, Sam Wood, Ed White, Chris Jory and some of the other guys leading them into the final 500 metres. It’s going to be a tough ask to come around them."
"There’s some good climbers with David Melville, Michael Troy, Jesse Ewart, James Hepburn plus the guys who are already on the team like Chris Jory.
"Then we’ve got some great domestiques; Andy Crawley, Jake Magee, [Dan O’Keefe] and then Julian Hamill is also back from injury while Alastair Loutit is also back on the team."