Peter McDonald is set to defend his Trust House Cycle Classic title in Wellington and the Wairarapa next week. The Australian will lead the Drapac Porsche UCI Continental team, perhaps the strongest of the seven Australian squads to have entered for the 23rd running of the classic, starting in Upper Hutt next Wednesday.
McDonald’s win in Wellington was the icing on his cake in early 2009, having won the Australian Open Road Championship earlier that month. Race organiser Jorge Sandoval was delighted to announce the Australian’s return.
“We saw how professional the Drapac Porsche team was at last year’s classic,” Sandoval said. “They will come to the classic very well prepared, and with a full backup group of masseurs, a mechanic and a coach it shows how serious they are. If this team rides as it should it will be a top contender to have one of its members take the overall title back to Australia.”
McDonald will get support from Joseph Lewis, Lachlan Norris, Michael Phelan and Thomas Palmer at the race. Norris’ background is in mountain biking, which includes having won the 2008 Oceania title, and being 11th at the UCI World Championships last year. Phelan was last year’s Australian under-19 road champion and was third in the sprint competition in last year’s Trust House classic.