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Top Southern Hemisphere Pros Prepare for NZ Tour
18 Dec, 2014

Top professionals teams are releasing their line up for New Zealand’s premier cycle race and only UCI 2.2 sanctioned event in Oceania next January, The NZCT Cycle Classic.

Avanti Racing Team is the first to announce their line up and they are presenting a strong team including retired Christchurch triathlete Tom Davison who will have his first cycling test after being nominated in the team for next January NZCT Cycle Classic.

This will be his first international race after retiring from triathlons and signing pro with the New Zealand UCI registered team last month. 

Davison has represented New Zealand in World Championships and Commonwealth Games and decide after five years as a professional triathlete to concentrate in road cycling.  He first came to the attention of Avanti Racing Team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston when he placed third in the 2014 NZ National Road Championships to Pro tour riders Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer.

“We’re happy to have Tom.  He has great natural talent and clearly has the desire to succeed” said Christie-Johnston.

Davison is looking forward to his first international race.

“I’m really looking forward to the race as lots of my mates have been and have had some good things to say about the tour.  This will be my first UCI tour, first NZCC also, so I’m pretty excited to be coming and getting stuck in, our team will be strong and ready to tackle the event. 

My switch has been smooth thus far.  Initially I was of course worried about finding teams, luckily enough being picked up by Avanti racing for the 2015 season. Now just have to keep improving my riding ability” Davison said.

Race organiser Jorge Sandoval is happy to see Davison come to cycling.

“I watch him doing the triathlons; I could not believe how strong he was on the bike leg.  Great to see him going to one of the best UCI teams, he couldn’t go to a better team; Andrew Christie-Johnson has produced some of the best talent over the last few years in Australia with riders such as Nathan Earle, Richie Porte, Campbell Flakemore and Steele Von Hoff among others, all of them now riding for Pro teams”

“Would be good to see him in the 2015 NZCT Cycle Classic racing his first international UCI event, he will be against top opposition who will really test him but he is part of a very experienced team and with team mates such as Cooper, Christie and Gunman who are very experienced tour riders, I think he could go really well and I hope this is his launch pad as far as international cycling is concerned.” said Sandoval.

Davison will be in great company with recent winner of the Australia National Series and Oceania Time trial Campion Joe Cooper as well as Patrick Bevin and current New Zealand Time Trial Champion Taylor Gunman.

2013 stage winner Jason Christie and Fraser Gough completes the Avanti Racing Team line up.

The 2015 tour will begin with an individual time trial starting and finishing at the Manawatu Golf Course.  Over the next three days, riders will race around the region with stages to Apiti, Feilding and Pahiatua.

The tour is set for an epic finish, stage five on the last day of racing will be crucial to decide the overall winner.  The stage will take the field from Palmerston North to the Wairarapa region via the Pahiatua hill, returning the same way to a finish at Pacific Drive near Palmerston North.

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