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Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans to contest Australian domestic races

By:
Greg Johnson
Published:
February 10, 2010, 8:01 GMT,
Updated:
February 10, 2010, 8:52 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Aaron Kemps has already shown why Fly V Australia signed him, by winning the Australian Criterium Championship. Kemps had a tough year in 2009 with his signing to Rock Racing not leading to much racing.

Aaron Kemps has already shown why Fly V Australia signed him, by winning the Australian Criterium Championship. Kemps had a tough year in 2009 with his signing to Rock Racing not leading to much racing.

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Fly V Australia won’t enter National Road Series in 2010

Fly V Australia will not contest Australian domestic races in 2010 with the team’s management company, Pegasus Racing, instead launching a new squad called Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans to take on the domestic scene. The all-new team will include a 12 rider roster focused predominately on younger riders and it’s hoped will train new talent for the Continental team over coming years.

The formation of a second tier to Pegasus Racing’s program is testament to the demand within the domestic racing market, according to team owner Chris White. “We’ve put together a 10 man roster for the national side of our team inside the last couple of months,” he said. “We’ve pretty much drawn together a team - which will do 80 or so days of racing - in the space of six to eight weeks. We’ve moved quickly on it.

“The fact that we were able to move so quickly in pulling it together is probably testament to the demand that’s there for that team to exist – from both rider, corporate and an industry perspective,” he added.

Fly V Australia won the team’s component of last year’s National Road Series, however the squad will focus heavily on the American market this year and hopes to be granted starts at the Tour of Ireland and Tour of Britain. With White holding ambitions for his top squad to become a Professional Continental team in 2011, the new outfit will be used to foster new talent domestically in Australia.

The team will include riders like Scott Law, who has enjoyed a sensational track racing stint in recent months, and brother of Trek-Livestrong rider Tim Roe, Andrew. Other up and coming riders like Michael Freiberg, Pat Shaw and James Hepburn will be included in the squad that contest races like Tour of the Murray River, Launceston to Hobart and Tour of Tasmania.

“We’ll work really closely with those guys and we’re excited about that team as well,” said White. “They’re good, young kids – most in that sort of 19-year-old bracket. They’re good young guys that we think can probably go all the way.”

Former professional rider Henk Vogels, who is a sport director with Fly V Australia, believes the team will fill the void for up and coming riders who aren’t in the Australian Institute of Sport’s Jayco-Skins program. “For instance this young Ben Dyball was in the breakaway at the Under 23 championships with two Drapac riders and five Jayco-Skin riders and he’s riding around in a local bike shop’s jersey,” said Vogels. “They’re the kind of kids we’re giving a road to. Like if you can’t get into the national team, where do you go? I think it takes a lot of the pressure off the kids when there’s more than one avenue to go than just in the national team with the future Olympic gold medalists.

“It’s a nice way for them to come through,” he added. “We’ll be watching them closely to see if they can come with us [in Fly V Australia] in 2011.”

Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans roster for 2010: Michael Freiberg, Pat Shaw, Scott Law, Ben Dyball, James Hepburn, Peter Thomson, Cameron Peterson, Mitchell Pearson, Andrew Roe, James Mowatt, Rhys Gillett and Chris Pryor.

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