PureBlack Racing have arrived home in New Zealand after three months of racing in the UCI Asia Tour, with a number of great results in their first season on the circuit.
The highlight was Michael Torckler’s victory at the inaugural Tour of Borneo, following up a 1-2-3 finish on Stage 1 to hold the yellow jersey for the duration of the tour.
Louis Crosby secured the teams’ first stage win in Asia in Stage Three of the Tour of Thailand.
Joseph Cooper placed 10th on General Classification at Le Tour de Langkawi – the team’s best finish in a Category 2.HC Race. Le Tour de Langkawi which saw PureBlack Racing race against top ProTour Teams, Garmin Barracuda, Team Astana and Europcar.
PureBlack Racing Director Sportif, John Harris, said he was extremely proud of the way the team has race over the past three months. “Everyone shone in their own way, James Williamson rode like a New Zealand champion should and Roman van Uden was a true leader and really dug the deepest. We have had a very special time in Asia.”
The team that travelled to Asia was Joseph Cooper, Louis Crosby, Shem Rodger, Michael Torckler, Roman van Uden (Captain) and James Williamson.
The block marks the teams first foray into Asia and Business Director Greg Cross, believes racing here has been an important step in the future of the team. “Asia in many ways is the future of the sport, the crowds and supporters who turn out for some of these events are huge. Building a brand and a fan base here is an important part of our creating the sponsorship base we need to continue to develop the team.”
As well as racing, the team was involved in the opening of a new Avanti retail store in Malaysia and a NZ Trade and Enterprise Trade Mission in Kuala Lumpur.
Kim Struthers, Avanti’s Group Product Director said, “It was superb to have the team at the opening of its newest concept store.”
“What better way to launch a new store in a new market than by having our PureBlack Racing team there to share the day and compete locally. As always the guys were very professional, approachable and genuinely interested in the project. It was a resounding success and the team created a huge buzz around the launch of our brand in Malaysia”, he said.
PureBlack Racing arrived back in New Zealand yesterday for a well deserved break before the next stage of their 2012 racing calendar begins.
Photo Captions – high resolution photos available on request
Photo #1: Stage One Winners: Roman van Uden (3rd), Michael Torckler (1st) and Louis Crosby (2nd)
Photo #2: Michael Torckler crosses the line in first place during stage one of the Tour of Borneo, followed by Louis Crosby and Roman van Uden in 2nd and 3rd respectively
Photo #3: Michael Torckler wins the yellow jersey at Tour of Borneo.