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Avanti Cycling Team announce 2009 line-up

                                                                   SUBWAY® – Avanti Cycling Team announce 2009 line-up


The SUBWAY® – Avanti Cycling Team has signed up five new riders for 2009. The recently registered UCI Continental team, a New Zealand first, has assembled a good mixture of talent from both the Elite and Under 23 categories as the team continues to set the standard for support, professionalism and achievement in New Zealand cycling.  A developmental component will shortly be added to the team containing several of this country’s promising Under 19 category riders.
The team will be seeking invitations to compete off-shore particularly in Australia and Asia, whilst continuing to support New Zealand’s major road cycling events such as the Trust House Tour of Wellington, Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, Grape Ride, and Power Net Tour of Southland where the team won this year’s Team, Under 23, and King of the Mountains classifications in the six-day tour. 

Leading the SUBWAY® – Avanti Cycling Team’s new line-up is the ‘People’s Champion’ Gordon McCauley who replaces Jeremy Yates.  McCauley (Auckland) brings both a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the team in a strengthened line-up able to support him in times that matter.  He has won many of New Zealand’s biggest road events including the national road title five times, and the Tour of Southland twice.  This year he finished second in the Southland event after leading it until the penultimate stage.

Eric Drower (Cambridge) is the second new addition to the team following several impressive performances in one-day events recently. This followed his excellent second-placing at the 38th Tour of New Caledonia as a member of the national team.  There he won both time trial stages beating some of France’s best ranked amateurs.

Jason Allen (Christchurch) brings work-horse qualities to the team including a wealth of experience as a former professional based in both the US and Britain.  Allen, who is currently a member of the national Elite track cycling squad will look to utilize his finishing speed that has seen him win stages of the Tour of Southland and last year’s Festival of Cycling criterium.  

Sam Horgan (Christchurch) continues to make impressive improvements as a gifted all-rounder in this sport.  This year he won the Around Brunner event ahead of a high-class field, and finished fifth in the Festival of Cycling Harbour Classic earlier this month.  Horgan has come from the Christchurch-based Benchmark Homes Cycling Team to compete with the SUBWAY® – Avanti squad in an increased number of both national and international events.

Louis Crosby (Auckland) completes the list of new signings, and comes into the team relatively unknown.  With huge raps given by his coach Aaron Strong, the Under 23 rider will be surrounded by a wealth of experience that will ensure his development progresses at an impressive rate.  As with a number of his new team-mates, Crosby excels at all disciplines of the sport.

Co-team owner Hayden Godfrey (Christchurch) remains with the team, as do Joseph Cooper (Wellington), Joshua England (Auckland), and James Williamson (Alexandra).

Like Allen, Godfrey is a member of the national Elite track cycling squad and next year will be out to retain his Omnium World Champion title he won in Manchester earlier this year.  The seasoned-professional has a fast finish that always makes him a contender in a sprint to the finish line.

Cooper has had an impressive 2008 that includes winning the Tours of Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, and Queenstown.  He won the King of the Mountains title in January’s Tour de Vineyards, and finished fifth at the recent Tour of Southland.

England is a solid performer who has a liking for criteriums.  The Aucklander retains his spot on the team following several impressive performances during the past year that included second-placings in the 2007 Festival of Cycling criterium, Mount Maunganui criterium, and North Shore City criterium.  Together with Godfrey and Cooper, England spent several months this year competing in the US for Team Inferno. 

Williamson rounds off the UCI registered squad as a rider capable of winning the biggest events in the country.  He recently finished second overall and winner of the Under 23 title at the Club National Championships, and winner of the Under 23 classification in the Tour of Southland.  Twice he finished 11th on General Classification in New Zealand’s two UCI-ranked tours this year.

The 2009 SUBWAY®  – Avanti Cycling Team will make its first appearance under its new UCI status at the Tour de Vineyards January 1st – 4th, followed by the New Zealand Elite Road Cycling Championships January 8th – 10th, and the Trust House Tour of Wellington January 21st – 25th.

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