Barras leaves Cycling Australia to lead New Zealand programme

Martin Barras, long-time women's road coach for Cycling Australia, was named on Friday as the new High Performance Director of Cycling New Zealand.

Barras, currently a director sportif for the Orica-Scott women's team in addition to his role for Cycling Australia, has led his country through two Olympic cycles - in 2004 and 2008 - on the track before switching to the women's road programme. With Cycling New Zealand, he will oversee all of the various disciplines' high performance programmes.

"I am really excited to join such a well established and performed team and look forward to add my expertise to the mix," Barras said in a press release.

"Without reinventing the wheel, we can improve our systems and delivery so that New Zealand continues to punch well above its weight internationally."

Barras' move is part of a large reshuffling of coaches and directors across the Olympic programmes. Gary Sutton moved to USA Cycling, Shane Sutton, after resigning from British Cycling, took up a post with the Chinese track team, among other moves.

Cycling New Zealand CEO Andrew Matheson welcomed Barras into the fold.

"Martin has a deep background at all levels of the sport, both track and road, both as a coach and also as a director of a programme to Olympic level and in the professional environment," Matheson said.

"He has international experience and understands the workings of a centralised track environment as well as a road programme in Europe.

"With his broad background and demonstrated adaptability, we know he will add significant value also to our mountain bike and BMX high performance structures and campaigns. Martin has clear business acumen managing people and business, and also has a wealth of knowledge and contacts throughout the cycling world."

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