The team is a new one sponsored by Hudson Gavin Martin, a new law firm specialising in intellectual property and technology law that was established last year by two former partners from Bell Gully (Wayne Hudson and Simon Martin) and a former partner form Russell McVeagh (Mark Gavin).
The firm has adopted a novel approach towards branding (see the attachments) and sees the Tour of Southland as an exciting and fun way of promoting its name. It also allows Wayne to indulge his personal passion for cycling at the expense of his partners Mark and Simon.
The riders in the team all have a connection with the law:
Nico de Jong works for Hudson Gavin Martin and it was his request for permission to do the Tour of Southland that got the firm about sponsoring a team. Nico persuaded two of his friends, Jeremy Meech and Nick Lovegrove, both of whom are also lawyers, to join the team.
The other two members of the team are Jamie Whyte and Andrew Eagles. Although not lawyers themselves, Jamie’s partner and Andrew’s sister Fiona used to work with Wayne and Simon at Bell Gully, so the connection was too strong to ignore. And so Team HGM was formed. The lads have taken their training seriously and have the form needed to get them through the Tour of Southland. This will be very much a learning experience for al of the riders as, apart from Andrew, it is the first time that any of them have done the Tour of Southland.
Brief profiles of the riders are as follows:
Nico de Jong: After running for a number of years, Nico began cycling in 2005, competing in various multi sport events and the odd fun ride. This year he turned his focus to cycling, got caught up in the hype and has found himself lining up for the Tour of Southland for the first time.
Jeremy Meech: The Tour of Southland '08 will also be Jeremy's first UCI tour. A late starter in the sport, Jeremy picked up cycling in 2005 at the end of his first year working as a lawyer in Auckland. Since joining the Counties Manukau Cycling Club in late 2006, Jeremy has predominantly raced in the central and upper North Island regions, steadily progressing through the grades under the initial guidance of Gordon McCauley (The People’s Champion), and more recently Karl Murray (Exceed Coaching). Jeremy works full-time as an intellectual property lawyer, training before work and on the weekends.
Nick Lovegrove: 2008 was Nick’s first season of cycle racing. He took up triathlons in 2005, as that is what his bosses at Phillips Fox were into and completed the Rotorua Half Iron Man in 2007 (finishing 13th overall). Nick converted to competitive cycling in 2008 with his first race being the Tour of Northland in March 2008 (in which he won his age group). Nick joined Counties Manukau Cycling Club shortly afterwards and started racing at CMC in B grade, moving to A grade after winning the B grade GC in the Tour of Taranaki.
Jamie Whyte: Jamie is a 27 year old triathlete, who has been a member of the NZ elite long course triathlon team for the last two years, placing 16th at this year’s long distance world champs. Out of the 3 disciplines Jamie enjoy cycling the most, and originating from Southland, has always wanted to compete in the Tour of Southland.
Andrew Eagles: The only member of the team to have done the Tour of Southland before, Andrew works and rides in London and the South East of England for Dulwich Paragon, a local club. He is looking forward to racing again at home in New Zealand. He competed in the Tour of Southland in 2002 and is looking to see if his legs remember the course