SUBWAY® Pro Cycling kicks off its 2012 season at the RaboDirect National Road Cycling Championship’s that start tomorrow in Christchurch.
SUBWAY® Pro Cycling’s Westley Gough is not available to defend his time trial title due to track commitments with the BikeNZ national track team but the team is still targeting podium results with Sam Horgan and Paul Odlin in the elite Time Trial race and with Scott Creighton in the Under 23 event.
Horgan hopes to add to the New Zealand Club Championships senior time trial title he won in May and Odlin has a proven track record against the clock in individual time trial races.
Odlin and Horgan are joined by Nick Lovegrove and Matt Gorter in the elite men’s road race on Sunday and Dillion Bennett and Simon Binney join Creighton in the Under 23 event.
SUBWAY® Pro Cycling Team Manager Graeme Miller said the 2012 team was gelling well and was looking forward to its first event of the season.
“It’s obviously early in the season and the newly signed riders have to get to know the existing guys. We have had the guys in camp this week and have outlined expectations for the year ahead.”
Miller said the road race was a very tough event to win, but without several of the country’s leading professional riders he felt it was quite open this year and that several of the SUBWAY® Pro Cycling riders were “more than capable of stepping up for a result.”
The road race circuit covers 15.6 kilometres and the men do the tough Dyers Pass climb 11 times to complete 186.6 kilometres. Tomorrow’s 40 kilometre time trial is based at Lincoln University on Ellesmere Junction Road, just outside of Christchurch. The 2011 Time Trial saw records fall with Gough setting a new New Zealand Record of 48 minutes and 50 seconds and Jason Christie setting an Under 23 Record of 49 minutes and 41 seconds.
Hayden Roulston won last year’s elite men’s road race in a time of four hours 43 minutes 29 seconds, with Melbourne-based professional Greg Henderson second and Jeremy Yates (Team Mico Revolution – Hawkes Bay) third, both 29 seconds behind Roulston.
Roulston and Henderson are both not racing this year due to their Pro Team commitments.