Australian riders are again poised to excel in the 2010 Trust House Cycle Classic in the wake of their brilliant countryman Travis Meyer winning in 2008 and last year's winner Peter McDonald, with confirmation that four more top Australian teams will make their way to New Zealand to compete in this month's Trust House Cycle Classic and ensure that a third successive winner from across the Tasman is a strong possibility.
The Genesys Wealth Advicers, Apollo Cyles, Madonagh Blake Mace and Shortis Cycle teams are in addition to the already announced Fly V Australia. All will field highly competitive squads.
Leading the charge for the UCI registered team Genesys Wealth Advicers is Joel Pearson, winner of Australia's most historic one-day race, the Melbourne to Warrnambool, who is returning to the Trust House Cycle Classic from January 27 to 31.
The 25-year-old claimed victory in October last year after spending 250km of the 261km in a breakaway group. He was able to hold off fellow escapees Daniel Furmston, who later this month will ride in new New Zealand road champion Jack Bauer's Trust House team, and Tim Decker. For Pearson the win was affirmation of his recovery from a serious car accident in France earlier in the year, which had left him in a coma for several weeks. Although still suffering from the effects of the crash, any indication of those were well hidden as he was first home in the world's second oldest cycling race.
Pearson is returning to New Zealand, last year he won the Masterton criterium, which enhanced his reputation as a sprinter, and earlier this month he was fourth in the Jayco Bay classic criterium series in Australia.
The Shortis squad had an outstanding debut season, which included claiming fourth spot in the Australian national road series. Team leader Mitch Pearson was second in the best young rider classification in last year's Sun Herald tour, and team-mate Chris Jory was the Australian under-23 criterium champion.
The Apollo Cycles team is made up of riders with lots of experience such as Peter Braunstiens, James Henry, Trent Williams and Chris Deamelio, they are sure to be looking for stage wins and a top ten on general classification.
The Madonagh Blake Mace team for the Trust House tour will consist of a good mix of riders from sprinters such as Dale Scarfe who has just returned from a season in Europe, to GC riders such as Geoff Straub, Adam Phelan, Alistar Loutit and Brendan Jones. The team will be directed by former pro Trent Wilson, who will bring his considerable knowledge to guide the team through the season.
Asked about the team make up Wilson said "It is a good mix of climbers, sprinters, GC riders and most importantly a lot of young riders with huge futures. I am looking forward to bringing my team over to Wellington as I have heard it's a very good race. Geoff Straub, who did the tour last year, has nothing but great praise for the Trust House Classic." Wilson said.
Race director Jorge Sandoval is delighted with the continued high calibre of the Australian riders, and the professionalism of their teams.
"They are very close to the leading European teams in terms of their setup, which will help ensure the classic is bigger and better than last year," Sandoval said.
The five-day tour starts on January 27 with the first stage from Upper Hutt to Masterton via the Rimutaka Hill, which has been included for the first time in some years, and concludes on the afternoon of January 31 with the traditional criterium on Wellington's lower Lambton Quay.
For more information please contact race director Jorge Sandoval 027 4464 300.
Tour website www.cycletournz.com