Team SKODA Fruzio – Team Announcement
Team SKODA Fruzio – Team Announcement 2018/19
New Zealand’s premiere Cycling Team - Team Skoda Fruzio officially unveiled their 2018/2019 roster on Monday night at Giltrap Skoda in Auckland. The all Under 23 squad has built a team with a wealth of talent of up and coming riders for the coming season.
Leading the line up for the team is the recently crowned Junior Track World Champions Corbin Strong, Finn Fisher Black, Bailey O’Donnell and George Jackson; along with up and coming Junior Road Worlds rider Josh Lane and the 16 year old phenomenon Laurence Pithie. The Team continues the partnership with Skoda New Zealand and Fruzio frozen fruit as their title sponsors and will be backed by Trek Bicyles, Torpedo7 and DT Swiss as their bike suppliers and CCN Sport and ilabb as their clothing suppliers, on and off the bike.
The Team has had a stand out 2017/2018 season with mentioned four world champions, five Oceania titles on the track, along with three age group Time Trial titles on the road. The Team also picked up third overall at the New Zealand Cycle Classic UCI2.2 after wearing the yellow jersey; claimed the best young riders jerseys at the Tour of Southland and at the National Road Series - Battle Recharge in Australia. The Team competed in Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom this year and are leading the Calder Stewart Elite Series in New Zealand
Team Skoda Fruzio has become synonymous with junior male development in New Zealand cycling. The vision of the team is to create development pathways for leading U23 and U19 riders. One look on the international scene suggests the Team are delivering on this mantra with 2017 riders Joel Yates gaining a podium this week at the US pro series race - Bucks Country Classic, Connor Brown riding at America’s hardest stage race – Tour of Utah 2.HC in August and Harry Waine joining the elite New Zealand track program. From prior years, Patrick Bevin is winning on the world stage; Robert Stannard has gone from strength to strength, gaining a World Tour berth with Mitchelton Scott for 2019, while Campbell Stewart represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The focus for the coming year will be to deliver a calendar that continues to build the riding skillsets for the squad both on and off the bike. The Team will focus on the Tour of Southland, Elite Road Nationals, the New Zealand Cycle Classic 2.2 and the Gravel & Tar 1.2 race in New Zealand. The Team are also Australian registered and will continue to compete in the Australian National Road Series. The Team will head back to Australia in November for the Tour of Tasmania and Giro Della Donna buoyed by their second placing on the Teams Classification at the latest round – Tour of King Valley. The Team will likely include a European stint in 2019 for the U19 line up in preparation for the Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
Team co-owner, Brad Tilby says, ‘I have never been so excited about a line up. We have an average age of 18 this year with some exceptional talent that can win on any terrain. We have seen the guys achieve on the world stage, while the likes of Aaron Wyllie has shown in Australia what he is capable of after only limited time on the road. Looking further into the line-up, we have the likes of Josh Kench, Lachie Dickson and Kiaan Watts all finishing at the pointy end of New Zealand races and for them it’s about cutting their teeth further on the international stage’.
The Team have retained all their major sponsorships for the season; a testament to the program and results the team have achieved. Team co-owner Scott Fairbairn says, ‘It is great to have some of the biggest companies in and out of cycling on board. This year is Skoda New Zealand’s forth year of supporting the team and we welcomed Fruzio on at the start of the year. Equipment sponsors for the team include – Trek, Torpedo7, Shimano, Vittoria, DT Swiss and Park Tool. Off the bike we have CCN sport back on board for their third year along with Ilabb clothing, Pure Nutrition, Biomaxa, Whipit, Apex insurance and Uniden. For us, it is great to see the continued support from these brands in support developing cyclists in New Zealand and we are proud to represent their brands on the road.
The first races for the Team will be Calder Stewart Elite Series Round 5 in Nelson on Saturday and the Dynamo Teams Series Round 1 in Cambridge on Sunday.
Full 2018/2019 line up
U23 line up: Aaron Wyllie, Bailey O’Donnell, Ben Hamilton, Corbin Strong, George Jackson, Jayden Kuijpers, Max Jones,
U19 Line up: Archie Martin, Ari Scott, Boston Bright, Finn Fisher Black, Kiaan Watts, Josh Kench, Josh Lane, Lachie Dickson, Laurence Pithie,