Pegaus Racing Team: Day, Kemps, Cantwell, Zajicek and four others transfer from Fly V Australia
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pegaus Racing Team: Day, Kemps, Cantwell, Zajicek and four others transfer from Fly V Australia

by Shane Stokes at 12:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riders motivated to perform well with high level Australian team in 2011

Ben DayBen Day, Aaron Kemps, Jonathan Cantwell and Phil Zajicek have all enthused about the chance to compete with the Pegasus Racing Team in 2011. They plus Fly V Australia team-mates Bernard Sulzberger, Jai Crawford, Darren Lill and Jay Thomson have been confirmed as signing for the new squad, which is set to compete next season in Europe as a Pro Continental setup.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us,” said Day, who along with Sulzberger, Cantwell, Kemps and Crawford is Australian and therefore will be part of the biggest Aussie team set-up ever. “Two years ago we started a journey and this is the next major step on that journey.

“Personally I’m thrilled to be heading back to Europe to compete in the biggest races, with my mates, in an Australian team that provides an environment where it is easy to thrive. To think that I may be part of an Australian team in the big races is unbelievably exciting!”

Kemps previously raced with the Liberty Seguros/Astana team between 2005 and 2008 and while he didn’t quite achieve as much as he could have, the national criterium champion feels ready to get the most out of himself now. “In my first European adventure, I was too young to really appreciate what I had,” he admitted. “I didn’t make the most of my opportunities. This time it’s going to be different, and I can’t wait to be hitting the roads of Europe with my mates.”

The team has made a number of signings from established ProTeam and Pro Continental teams, including triple Tour Maillot Vert Robbie McEwen, his Katusha team-mate Serguei Klimov, Svein Tuft, Robbie Hunter and Trent Lowe (Garmin-Transitions), Dominique Cornu (Skil Shimano), Christian Knees, Thomas Rohregger and Luke Roberts (Milram).

Others who have come on board are Clinton Avery (RadioShack stagiaire), Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil), Daryl Impey (RadioShack), Rohan Dennis (Team Jayco Skins) and Jacek Morajko (Mroz – Active Jet).

McEwen’s presence on the team is something which excites Cantwell, and so too the step-up to a higher level “I’ve been chasing this since I started cycling. Our program in the US has given me the opportunity to progress as a rider and show what I’m capable of,” he said. “I’m ready to take the next step and I’m really looking forward to racing with and learning from my old sparring partner Robbie McEwen.

“He and I have had some great battles in races in Australia over the years, and to be on the same team as him will be incredible.”

The new team is an evolution from the Fly V squad, and so it is understandable that so many are moving across from the US-based setup. Team owner Chris White has indicated that there will be four teams next year: the Pegasus Racing Team, which will be renamed once the title sponsor is announced, a continuation of Fly V Australia, plus squads for female riders and Under 23s.

And while the team will have to wait a year before trying again to step up to ProTeam status, it still hopes to ride at least one Grand Tour in 2011.

White is glad that the project is evolving and giving opportunities to existing riders. “I’m ecstatic that so many of our Fly V Australia riders now get their chance to step up to the next level,” he said. “This was always the plan, consistent with one of Pegasus’ goals to provide a pathway for young talent to build a foundation, develop and progress all the way to the highest levels in the sport. This is validation of our Pegasus Sports program.

“Trust and mateship are our core values at Pegasus Sports. I’m honouring a commitment that was made to the riders when we started this journey. I’ve kept my side of the bargain, and the riders have kept theirs. To see these guys take the next step on this journey together is truly satisfying.”

American climber Zajicek echoes this. “I can’t wait. Europe 2011 is the culmination of years of hard work for a lot of people,” he stated. “Pegasus Sports has developed a highly successful program. Going to Europe has always been the goal, and to be able to go there with my band of brothers is just so special.”

The riders will be guided by White and by four directeurs sportif, namely existing Fly V managers Henk Vogels and Ed Beamon, as well as the experienced Europeans Hendrik Redant and Igon Van Kessel. The latter duo are moving from Omega Pharma Lotto and Cervélo Test Team, and will provide an important input.
 

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