GPM Racing launched its 2012 team last night at an event in Sydney bike store Renegade Cycles, with the new look squad directed by former professional Trent Wilson aiming to improve on their record second place finish in this year's National Road Series.
The team took out stage wins at the Tour of Tasmania, the Tour of Gippsland and the Tour of the Murray River as well as featuring prominently in the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic and the prestigious Grafton to Inverell. On the criterium heavy racing style that is the NRS, the team has recruited wisely by picking up a number of criterium specialists to add to their already strong all-round squad.
Al Loutit, Dale Scarfe and Nash Kent bolster the core of the squad including Chris Jory and Phil Grenfell who will both return to race with the team next season after their overseas commitments. Wilson told Cyclingnews that the objective for 2012 would be to do nothing less than to win the NRS.
"Last year, deep down I knew that we didn't quite have the resources to beat some of the bigger teams," said Wilson. "This year I'm 100 per cent confident that we can win the NRS. Genesys have lost a few decent riders, 2XU are looking strong, but I think honestly we have to be considered the team to beat.
"Al Loutit, Chris Jory and Phil Grenfell when he's back from his duties in the US, and Dale Scarfe and Nash Kent are very quick riders."
Wilson also reiterated his reasons for the squads success citing the close "family" bond of the team that he says has allowed the team to gel together really well.
"When we go away on tour, we have an absolute ball," said Wilson. "Nash Kent, Alex Wong and Al Loutit are all guys that I've brought on because I'm confident that they're all great guys above all else. It's very important for everyone to get on, I think when they do it shows in the results."
Wilson concluded by saying that the most important thing for the team was to continue its upward progression, which has seen it come from relative obscurity to now featuring as one of the most successful NRS teams in Australia.
"Next year we'd like to continue improving and building on what we've created in the past two years," said Wilson. "Every year we've continued to improve, and this season will be no exception."
Construction company GPM has joined the team as a naming rights sponsor, bringing additional funds to fuel the team's growing ambitions, after former supporter BikeBug.com ended its association with the team.
GPM Wilson Racing for 2012
Chris Jory, Phillip Grenfell, Alastair Loutit, Andrew Crawley, Caleb Jones, Nash Kent, Julian Hamill, Josh Taylor, Dale Scarfe, Jake Magee, Edward White, Alex Wong, Sam Rutherford, and Luke Williams.
Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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