Top New Zealand riders for Cycle Classic

The Trust House Men's Cycle Classic received a big boost with confirmation of 2002 Tour winner and member of the Athens Olympic road team Robin Reid. He will be entering a team in next week's New Zealand race around Wellington, Hutt City and the Wairarapa.

His team is made up of some of the best New Zealand riders; Jeremy Vennel, a very good all-round cyclist, professional, base himself in Belgium most of the year and races for team DFL-Cyclingnews all over Europe. He has never won a major tour but finish second in last year's Southland tour and have top placing in many races in Europe.

Reid will also have the experience of top New Zealand hill climber Aaron Strong from Auckland, Justin Kerr and Richard Speer.

"This team has got experience and youth," said Race Director Jorge Sandoval. "I expect to see Strong and Reid working hard for general classification whiles the young ones would be supporting them but at the same time creating their own chances for stage wins and final general classification. I know that Aaron Strong is coming to Wellington with great expectations and to prove that he is the best hill climber in this country."

Two more teams

Sandoval also announced today that two other teams have confirmed their participation for the Trust House Cycle Classic. World Cup medal winner and member of the 2006 New Zealand Commonwealth Games team Jason Allen is the leader of the Samsung New Zealand team. Jason Allen is now a well established member of the New Zealand Track cycling team pursuit squad and he was one of the quartet that won gold at the 2005 Manchester world cup meeting and a member of the winning team at the Sydney world cup meeting earlier in 2005.

"I'm always impressed with the amount of work Jason does at the front of the bunch every year. He is a guy that every other rider wishes to have in his team." Sandoval continued. Matt Gilbert, Dean Fulton, Ross Stewart and Aaron Wheeler will accompany him.

The Team Wellington Star - Mercedes comprises of up and coming riders. The team is lead by Shem Rodger fresh from representing New Zealand at the Bay Cycling series in Australia last week, Brad Carter, Mark Langlands, Ryan Willis and Peter Rennie.

The Trust House Tour starts on Wednesday, January 24, with a team time trial in Lower Hutt and finishes on Sunday, January 28 with the Petone Criterium.

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