Former professional and two-time Olympian Patrick Jonker will manage Australia's newest men's professional team, Eclipse Pro Cycling (EPC) which is set to compete in 2011 in the Australian National Road Series.
The team has the backing of sponsors Jayco and 2XU, and will race as Team Jayco-2XU. The team's mission is to provide a pathway for young, talented athletes to develop and progress all the way to the highest levels in the sport.
Speaking about his role, Jonker said, "This is a great concept and an exciting opportunity. Australia's cycling stocks are overflowing right now, but that's no reason to be complacent. This initiative will be key in the future success of Australian cycling – and I'm looking forward to helping unearth new talent, develop the careers of young riders, and provide them with guidance and knowledge they need to go all the way to the top."
Team Jayco-2XU's roster is an exciting mix which combines proven experience with youth and potential. Headlining the roster are multiple Australian Mountain Bike Champion and road racing powerhouse Chris Jongewaard, former Junior World and Australian Madison Champion Glenn O'Shea, and Olympian and 2006 World Teams Pursuit Champion Mark Jamieson. These riders bring experience to the roster and will help guide and nurture the development of the next wave of Australian cycling talent which includes former triple Junior World Track Champion Luke Davison, Brendan Brooks, Nick Dougall, Rhys Gillett and James Hepburn. The mix of youth and experience is certain to be a key factor in underwriting the team's success.
The EPC project has been recognised by GreenEDGE Cycling, whose Manager Shayne Bannan said, "Eclipse Pro Cycling's project is an important development on the Australian cycling landscape. It will encourage and develop young Australian cyclists and add value to Australia's National Road Series. Pat Jonker is a World renowned coach and the team will benefit greatly from his experience. I am sure that Eclipse Pro Cycling through Team Jayco-2XU will provide a great platform for the rapid development many young riders."
EPC will officially launch Team Jayco-2XU at a gala event in Brisbane in early April ahead of competing in its first race, Tasmania's 2-day Mersey Valley Tour commencing 16 April 2011.