This Saturday’s second round of the Trust House North Island Cycling Series in the Wairarapa has attracted 28 teams and a total of 212 riders from all over the country and the elite grade is featuring some big names of New Zealand cycling.
Making their debut in the race is the L&M Group RICOH New Zealand team who just returned from three months racing in USA.
L&M Group - Ricoh NZ is a Kiwi cycling team with a top line up of riders which is managed by James Canny. Canny a Wellington base Lawyer plays a double role as rider and manager for the team.
The team raced in the USA for the last three months, “This was the biggest overseas trip our team has undertaken so far and shows our commitment to sustainable growth year to year, we had an excellent campaign with two big wins and multiple podiums finishes in pro level races.” Said team manager, James Canny.
The team’s origins go back five years as Canny explains. “I started it fresh out of Otago University in 2009 as Team Motatapu. The humble beginnings were Eddie Dawkins, Simon Van Velthooven, Myron Simpson and myself. We raced a season of track over that year and in 2010 with a few road riders added to the mix we also did a lot of road racing.”
Since then L&M Group - Ricoh New Zealand has grown in size and picked up a number of great sponsors along the way. This year along with the 3 month USA trip the team has competed in the OCBC Singapore Criterium and will be off to Australia in December to race some Professional Criteriums.
“We will compete in the new Trust House North Island Series as from round two, I think it is great to have a series like this and we whole heartily will support it, the more quality, well organised, and racing in NZ the better.” Commented Canny.
The team have a healthy mixture of youth and experienced heads. “Our great up and coming riders are winner of the Chicago Criterium in USA Grayson Napier, 2012 New Zealand National Champion James Williamson, Tim Chapman and 2014 NZ Cycle Classic KOM Scott Thomas. Joe and Anthony Chapman along with Nick Lovegrove 2013 K2 and Bike the Bridge Champion and former Node 4 pro Shem Rodger provide a level head and the experience to show the younger lads the ropes.” Said Canny.
For race director Jorge Sandoval having the team in the race is a big coup.
“Over the years we have seeing teams in New Zealand coming and going, I have followed the L&M Group RICOH New Zealand over the last couple of years and they are doing the right thing, they have some of the best riders in the country and are very professional on and off the bike. The field in the elite race for this Saturday is pretty good, there are some very classy up and coming riders that won’t make it easy for them but I still think they should be right up there at the end of the 142km race.
The first race in the Trust House North Island series was dictated by the weather conditions, with wet, cold and windy conditions throughout the day made it difficult for all riders, let’s hope the Wairarapa weather get better for the weekend” Said Sandoval
All race leaders in different grades are returning to race two of the series including Gordon McCauley who currently lead’s the Men’s elite from Dan Waluszewski of Rivet Racing Team.
Masterton Trust House and Tararua Builders teams are presenting a full line up for race two with eight riders per team, top Masterton rider Ben Knight is making his debut in the series racing for the Tararua Builders team.
Race two this Saturday 18th October; riders will race from Masterton to Martinborough via Gladstone, Ponatahi and Longbush Road. The start and finish is at Manaia Road 10.00am.