Fly V Australia is planning a broader racing program throughout 2010 – which it hopes will include the tours of Ireland and Britain – to assist with its planned step up to Professional Continental status in 2011, according to team manager Chris White. The Australian squad has added five new riders to its roster for next year, when it will again feature prominently in the Australian and North American racing scene.
“On our way to the US in February we will be competing in India and Singapore and later in the year we hope to be granted starts in the Tour of Ireland and Britain,” said White. “Our vision is to be part of the Pro Tour and we have made significant steps towards our objective.
“Australia is the third ranked Nation in cycling and does not have a Pro Tour team, this needs to be addressed and over the next two years we intend to build to this level,” added White. “In Europe cycling is a historical sport and seven-eleven was North America’s cycling frontier back in the ’70s, it’s time for an Australian Pro Tour team.”
White has signed two South Africans to the roster for 2010: Darren Lill, who joins from Team Type 1 where he rode to second overall at the Tour of Utah, and current South African Time Trial Champion Jay Thomson, who rode for South African team MTN Cycling in 2009. The team has added some climbing talent with Australian Jai Crawford, who finished runner-up at this year’s Tour de Langkawi.
Two other Australians have joined Crawford in moving to Fly V Australia, including former Astana rider Aaron Kemps and David Tanner, who finished in the Herald Sun Tour’s top 10 after spending the season with Michael Ball’s Rock Racing. White said the five will help balance out the team’s range of abilities, after having a squad built predominately around sprinters in 2009.
“Coming off a great 2009 we looked closely at where we believed that we needed to strengthen our roster,” said White. “With Ben Kersten, Jonathan Cantwell and Bernie Sulzberger we felt that we had some excellent speed but as a team we probably lacked a little punch when the road steepened. We expect Lill and Crawford to fill these gaps nicely and to offer excellent support to Phil Zajicek and Ben Day. The result we believe is an exceptionally well balanced and powerful roster.
“Our primary objectives for the season is to improve on the success of 2009 by becoming the leading professional team in North America and Australia and to build a platform for elevation to Professional Continental status in 2011,” White added.
Following a successful season in both the United States of America and at home in 2009 Fly V Australia received a boost yesterday with the news its title sponsor had re-signed through 2011.
Fly V Australia Roster for 2010: Alessandro Bazzana (Ita), Hayden Brooks (Aus), Jonathon Cantwell (Aus), Jai Crawford (Aus), Benjamin Day (Aus), Charles Dionne (Can), Aaron Kemps (Aus), David Kemp (Aus), Benjamin Kersten (Aus), Darren Lill (RSA), Darren Rolfe (Aus), Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), David Tanner (Aus), Jay Thomson (RSA), Phillip Zajicek (USA).
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