Wellington hardman Joseph Cooper will be competing
for Australia’s No.1 professional cycling team for the
last three years, Genesys, in the NZCT Cycle Classic
in the Manawatu from January 23 to 27, 2013.
Cooper has competed with distinction for the Pure
Black New Zealand team in 2012, but will be one of
Genesys’s new recruits next year. One of his best rides
in Asia this year was to finish in the top ten in the Tour
de Langkawi, and his previous successes include
winning the Tour of New Caledonia in 2010 and 2011,
and twice in the last four years carrying off the King of
the Mountains title in the Cycle Classic.
“I’ve known Joe for a few years, and he has always
shown his ability as a strong rider in hard conditions,
especially on the big climbs,” said Cycle Classic race
director Jorge Sandoval. “I think that racing for a team
like Genesys, and under the guidance of team
manager Andrew Christie-Johnston, will further
develop Joe. He will be surrounded by riders who are used to contesting big races, and you’d
expect him to go on to bigger and better things.”
Genesys will not lack for any knowledge of New Zealand conditions, having competed in
Sandoval’s annual men’s tour for some years. Cooper’s team-mates include Australians
Nathan Earle and Campbell Flakemore, who have shone in the Classic. Earle was a multiple
stage winner in 2011, and Flakemore was third overall this year when the event was wholly
staged in the Manawatu for the first time.
The Genesys squad will be completed by super climber Jai Crawford and team captain Pat
Shaw, who have a wealth of European racing experience. Crawford’s preparation might not
be entirely straight forward with his wife Tina having just produced their first child. His
accomplishments include having finished second in the Tour de Langkawi, and Shaw won
the Tour of Murray last year. He expects the team to arrive race fit for the only New Zealand
men’s race on the UCI’s international calendar.
“We will come with a background of hard racing in the Bay Series, the Herald-Sun Tour and
the national road championships,” Shaw said. “Anyone of us are capable of winning Jorge’s
However, Genesys riders have yet to win the Classic after previously coming very close.
Sandoval is expected to announce in the next few days three other overseas teams will join
Genesys and Drapac in the Classic.
The NZCT Cycle Classic starts on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 with the individual time trial
on the edge of Palmerston North around Massey University.