The Australian Cycling Academy (ACA) is bolstering its ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast roster ahead of the new year, with the signing of nine promising new riders and announcement of a three-year contract extension with the Sunshine Coast Council.
The signings follow ACA’s recent announcement of a new four-day National Road Series (NRS) tour for the Sunshine Coast, giving the Australian UCI Continental cycling team a home race, one sponsored by the team’s main supporter, Australian building and facility services company ARA Group.
Lyons took a win at the recent National Road Series finale in the Tweed for Oliver’s Real Food Racing, winning from the breakaway on the stage finish into Mooball, getting into the move after a brutally fast start to the stage and then out-sprinting his counterparts in the small group sprint.
Jay Vine had been announced as transferring from Nero Continental to ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast for the 2021 season, but his victory in the Zwift Academy will mean that Vine will be in the professional ranks with Alpecin-Fenix instead.
ACA Director Ben Kersten said the improved lineup and new initiatives will take the team to new heights in 2021, with both the men’s and women’s teams targeting the NRS series with victories in mind.
“We’re committed to upholding our founding ‘live, learn, ride’ principles for next season by targeting some quality and consistent performers including climbers and time-trialists to strengthen the team where we’ve been weak in the past,” Kersten said.
“Our two prime signings are Angus Lyons and Jay Vine who both cleaned up in the NRS last week, securing wins in a series road race and finishing in the top 10 in multiple stages. We’re sure they’ll layer the team and strengthen our capabilities in climbing and general classification.”
“We’re also excited to have signed promising junior rider Declan Trezise, who won two gold medals at the national road titles this year, and two new riders from Perth — sprinter Craig Wiggins and up-and-coming rider Oliver Stenning — who will further strengthen the team.”
Alongside the new riders, many of ARA Pro Racing’s fan-favorites will also be returning for the new season, including former World Omnium Champion and NRS winner Michael Freiberg, and 16-time Para World Championship medalist Alistair Donohoe.
The women’s team has included a variety of riders in the past, seasoned track and road riders mixed in with some very green amateurs who have acquitted themselves well in their first NRS races.
They maintain their strong track presence in 2021, with star rider Ruby Roseman-Gannon the one that all will be watching after proving herself the best sprinter in the domestic peloton. She’s also not far off being one of the best climbers.
The set-up has a solid set of sponsor partners, with the Sunshine Coast signing on for another 3-year-deal, with ARA again the naming sponsor for 2021. Ben Kersten said he was excited to see what the future held with the property-service giant as they look towards moving an office on the Sunshine Coast.
“ARA Group is a great organisation and a huge supporter of the ACA. The ACA and the ARA Group share many aligned philosophies and core founding principles and we’re thrilled to have them on board as a major sponsor of Cycle Sunshine Coast in October next year along with the Sunshine Coast Council.”
Women’s Team: Anya Louw, Holly Lubcke, Alex Martin-Wallace, Chloe Moran, Lauren Perry, Maeve Plouffe, Ruby Roseman-Gannon, Sam de Riter, Sophie Edwards.
Men’s team: Ryan Thomas, Craig Wiggins, Cameron Scott, Michael Freiberg, Sebastian Barrett, Zack Gilmore, Danielle Di Domenico, Matthew Rice, Alistair Donohoe, Michael Rice, Alex Bogna, Declan Trezise, Oliver Stenning and Angus Lyons