With a break in the Australian racing calendar, several NRS teams are heading off to Asia, Europe and North America before the Subaru NRS series resumes for both the men and women in the last week of July with the Tour of the Murray River.
These week's NRS news shorts wraps the latest from the Tour of Toowoomba and find out where you can next see Drapac, Avanti and BudgetForklifts in action plus the latest on Olympic triathlete training in NRS roads.
NRS leader Joe Cooper fractures pelvis at Toowoomba but vows August return
Subaru National Road Series leader Joseph Cooper (Avanti Racing Team) suffered a nasty spill on stage four resulting in a fractured pelvis while sitting in second overall in general classification at the Tour of Toowoomba over the weekend.
The 28-year-old, 2013 New Zealand Time Trial National Champion has been on a hot streak after winning the Oceania Time Trial title in February, with previous overall NRS wins this season at the Tour de Perth in March and the Battle on Border earlier this month. But that all came to a screeching halt when Cooper hit the asphalt on Saturday in what he said was the worst crash of his career.
Avanti have just wrapped up racing at the Tour of Japan and will continue its Asian stint of racing at the Tour of Korea.
Former NRS champion captures first European win at Omloops der Kempen
At just 50km in on the twisted and cobbled 200km Omloops der Kempen, 2012 Subaru NRS winner, Luke Davison (Synergy Baku) found himself asking what he wanted from the day's race.
BudgetForklifts Northern American adventure
BudgetForklifts are embracing the Australian break in racing to head off to the USA with an eight-man squad which will also a chance to see the Canadian headquarters of Cervélo, the teams' bike sponsor.
The Continental team is set to race the UCI1.1 Philadelphia Cycling Classic in Pennsylvania, USA, on June 1, before two Canadian stage races, the Tour de Saguenay and Tour de Beauce.
Team manager Cam Watt and the eight-riders ‘can't wait for the challenge'.
"It's going to be the biggest one-day race we've ever done," Watt said of the 'Philly Classic'. "Being a one-day race, you've got to have lots of options on the road."
While the team contains several young riders, Watt is confident that that Northern American stint will be beneficial for when the NRS resumes.
"We've got four guys going over there that are under 23," Watt pointed out. Lining up alongside 24-year-old Roe, 22-year-old Vink and 20-year-old Kerrison in Philadelphia will be 21-year-old Alex Wohler and 22-year-old Josh Prete, as well as veteran riders Tommy Nankervis, Brodie Talbot and Sam Witmitz.
"The experience that they can gain in that high-level competition will be invaluable not only for the rest of the year in the NRS when they come back to that, but also for the rest of their careers," Watt said.
For the Tour de Saguenay, the team will have seven riders and all will be looking to get Kerrison a stage win. "I think we can be extremely competitive. We'd like to come away with a stage win out of that tour," Watt said.
The Tour de Beauce however will be all about a three-pronged assault on the GC. "With Tim Roe, Michael Vink and Brodie Talbot, we've got three very good climbers, and coupled with a 20-k TT on TT bikes … [Tim Roe and Michael Vink] have got no weakness in those two disciplines. We think we can challenge for the win in GC at Beauce. "
Drapac's American debut
Another Australian team will be on the start line in Philadelphia on June 1 with Drapac making its American racing debut. The Pro-Continental team has raced in Australia, Asia and Europe already this year and are about to add another continent to that list.
The teams Directeur Sportif, Henk Vogels, was the first Australian to win the Philly Cycling Classic in 2000 and although there have been changes made to the parcours since, it remains a special race to Vogels.
Olympic triathlete uses Battle on the Border as training grounds
Two-time Olympic triathlete Courtney Atkinson is no stranger to trying new things. The ITU Olympic-distance specialist dabbles in iron and half-iron distance triathlon, as well as adventure racing and Xterra. The Queensland native even gives mountain biking a go and is scheduled to compete in the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge in Port Douglas to start a week of festivities leading up to Ironman Cairns and his own participation in the Cairns 70.3 – a race he won last year.