Team Cyclingnews.com - 2005
Two outta two ain't bad
Yeah baby! Team Cyclingnews.com started the season the same way they did in 2004 - with a win, of course! (We'll have more details on that race shortly.)
Yep, the Team Cyclingnews.com boys are baaack! Officially registered as one of the UCI Continental Teams on the Oceania Continental Circuit, the 2005 11-rider line-up is an eclectic one, with six Australians, two from Great Britain, and one Belgian, German and South African apiece. We'll have short profiles on each of these riders shortly, but for now, why not read what team manager Gilbert de Weerdt has to say about each of these geezers.
During the year, we'll also be sharing their tales of sorrow and success (hopefully more of the latter!) with Cyclingnews readers, and as the season progresses, you'll get to know each of the 11 riders just a little bit better. Imagine an episode of Friends substituted with an apartment near Antwerp (who needs New York, anyway?) and a cast of down-to-earth blokes who love racing their bikes, chewin' the fat and 'taking the piss' out of each other. To get a taste, go here to read entries from Aussies Cody Stevenson (welcome back, mate) and young Daniel Newnham (welcome aboard, Dan).
Conceived in 2001 by Gilbert de Weerdt and Rudi Dubois, Team Cyclingnews.com has been the impetus behind a number of successful pro careers, including 2004 Australian national champion and Franšaise des Jeux rider Matt Wilson (team member in 2001), Jelly Belly's Ben Brooks, Glenn Chadwick, Mark Roland and Paul Redenbach (team members 2002), and most recently, Phil Thuaux, who was one of the most successful riders from last year's set-up, scoring a contract with Indonesian-registered Pro Continental Team Wismilak in 2005. For a full history of the team, point and click you mouse button here, geezer!
While the team is registered as part of the Oceania Continental Circuit, the boys will continue to be based in Booischoot, in deep, dark Belgium (okay, it's not that scary), which has proven to be an ideal hunting ground for topping up the riders' wallets on the lucrative kermis circuit. Racing in Europe is also invariably tougher than anywhere else, so the standard and style of racing is especially important for those seeking to make it to the next level of professional cycling.
Speaking of the next level, the team's hoping to reach the equivalent of old Division II status - now referred to as a Pro Continental Team - in the not-too-distant future. But that requires money - so if you're a big shot who's loaded and wants your brand splattered alongside the name of the biggest and best cycling website in the world, look no further than Team Cyclingnews.com!
Cyclingnews.com team manager Gilbert de Weerdt gives his run down on the 2005 riders:
Tom Barras: An ideal teammate who always gives his best for the guy on the lead.
Glenn Chadwick: Back in the team after two years at Giant Asia. I believe in this guy 100 percent. He will be the big surprise in the pro peloton. He can win any race and will be in a big pro team after this season. He's absolutely the guy to follow.
Sven De Weerdt: All rounder, ideal teammate but he can be in the final break and get some top five results in most races.
Chris Fry: New in the team, a climber and has to get all the experience he can in this season. He will be the "captain" in the specific hill races.
Hamish Haynes: Strong rider and good sprinter. Can read the race and hardly ever misses the right break. Had some bad luck last year but will be ready for 2005.
Cameron Jennings: Excellent rider, had a lot of bad luck last year but could have won a few big ones. This will be his final year before he steps over to a big team. Absolutely one of our strongest men.
Daniel Newnham: Tasted Belgian cycling three years ago but was too young then. He's getting a lot stronger and more mature so his second chance will be a new start.
Leigh Palmer: A strong guy who missed part of the 2004 season because of health problems. All's well now and Leigh gets a chance to prove himself again.
Sebastian Prengel: New in the team, Sebastian is a young German rider, and all rounder and will get the chance to gain experience in the big races.
Cody Stevenson: The sprinter. He has given a demonstration of his talent in last year's Tour de Hongrie by winning the bunch sprint in the final stage. He'll be stronger this year and will sprint for the podium several times.
Henry Uys: New in the team, Henry comes from South Africa and his main goal should be to learn as much as possible and gain strength and race intelligence. A man for the future.
The involvement of this website came about after discussions with team management in 2003, as the site took an interest in the results of the Division III squad. "We got involved to support a team that had its aim of assisting young riders," said Cyclingnews.com publisher Gerard Knapp. "The team has its origins in Australia, but it was also an opportunity to put something back into the sport at the development level, to help provide a platform for emerging riders.
"With the program they have this year, plus the talented riders on the roster, we're looking forward to reporting on their successes," he added. "For young Australian riders, there is major competition for positions in the AIS [Australian Institute of Sport] scholarship program that's based in Italy, and funded by the federal government. But it's fair to say that the AIS can't offer spots for every talented young Australian rider, and racing in Italy may not suit everyone. Also, the AIS program is only for riders under 23, so we see this team as complementing the AIS program.
"This support is consistent with other activities. In Australia, we are a sponsor of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS-Cyclingnews.com) cycling squad, as well as a supporting sponsor of the TIAA-CREF - 5280 team in Colorado. Both of those teams are also designed to assist with the development of promising young riders, so that fits well with what we want to contribute to the sport," he added.
See more on the team: