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Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans launched in Brisbane

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Rhys Gillett relaxes with two of his teammates in their 2XU clothing, while they wait for the presentation to start.

Rhys Gillett relaxes with two of his teammates in their 2XU clothing, while they wait for the presentation to start. (Image credit: Beau Chenery)
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Team owner Chris White addresses those at the launch, with the riders and team management watching on.

Team owner Chris White addresses those at the launch, with the riders and team management watching on. (Image credit: Beau Chenery)
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Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans will use a BMW X5 as the team vehicle throughout the year.

Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans will use a BMW X5 as the team vehicle throughout the year. (Image credit: Beau Chenery)
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The 13 strong squad will ride Merida bikes during the 2010 season.

The 13 strong squad will ride Merida bikes during the 2010 season. (Image credit: Beau Chenery)
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Former Tour de France rider Pat Jonker will direct the new team, and was questioned by the man who does the Australian Tour de France coverage's intro and outro Michael Tomalaris at the team launch.

Former Tour de France rider Pat Jonker will direct the new team, and was questioned by the man who does the Australian Tour de France coverage's intro and outro Michael Tomalaris at the team launch. (Image credit: Beau Chenery)

New Australian domestic squad Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans was launched last night at Brisbane BMW’s showroom. Australian sportscaster Mike Tomalaris was the evening’s host, introducing the team’s 13 riders and management.

Sport director Patrick Jonker is relishing the opportunity to mentor such a young group of riders. "I am looking forward to working with such a young and talented squad,” he said. “My role is not only to lead the team ensuring success but to mentor the riders. The mentoring role is one that I will relish."

Team owner Chris White told Cyclingnews the new squad will contest both Cycling Australia’s National Road Series and Caribou Publications’ Scody Cup. That will see the team contest races like Melbourne to Warrnambool, Tour of Tasmania, Tour of the Murray River and the Tour of Geelong.

“Having a team of Australia's brightest young stars provides us with not only a deep talent pool but also an opportunity to mentor and develop the riders as individual athletes,” said White. ”We see the Virgin Blue RBS Morgans team as being very successful and at the same time a breeding ground for Australia's next professional cyclists.”

Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans will act as a development team for Continental squad Fly V Australia, both owned by Pegasus Racing. Having contested Australian domestic races for the past two seasons, Fly V Australia will focus its efforts on racing abroad this year with the new team taking its place in the domestic scene.

Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans roster for 2010: Michael Freiberg, Pat Shaw, Scott Law, Ben Dyball, James Hepburn, Peter Thomson, Cameron Peterson, Mitchell Pearson, Andrew Roe, James Mowatt, Rhys Gillett and Chris Pryor.