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Despite injury the SUBWAY® Pro Cycling team has named a strong line-up in what will be the last time the green and gold team colours fly in the Powernet Tour of Southland.
The team suffered a recent setback after Sam Horgan became unavailable after crashing in the Tour of Tasmanian, but SUBWAY® Pro Cycling’s General Manager Hayden Godfrey said he was still expecting the team to make an impact.
“Losing Sam was really unfortunate as he was potentially going to be our GC (general classification) man,” he said. “But we still have Paul (Odlin) to look to for GC and I know we will race aggressively over the first couple of days and see how we are going.”
Godfrey said the team has very good depth at the moment and a more than capable line-up that should definitely make its presence felt even without Horgan.
Odlin is the reigning Oceania elite road cycling and New Zealand elite time trial champion, and Nick Lovegrove showed he is building well for Southland after winning the Wanganui Cycling Grand Prix late last month and coming third in tough conditions in the Te Awamutu Open near Hamilton on Saturday.
Rising junior star Dylan Kennett makes his senior Tour of Southland debut. The 19 year old won four medals at UCI Junior Track World Championships in Invercargill in August and has a bright future in the sport.
Godfrey said Kennett has already proved he is going to be a ‘big talent’ but stressed the SUBWAY® Pro Cycling team would not put too much pressure on him in Southland but “would definitely like to see the team line him up for a finish on a stage or two.” Godfrey was in no doubt the young cyclist had potential to turn a few heads should an opportunity present itself during racing.
Central Hawke’s Bay Olympian Westley Gough joined his SUBWAY® Pro Cycling team mates for the first time since he won bronze on the track at the London Olympics in Saturday’s Te Awamutu Open. After taking a break after the Olympic Games Gough is building towards the Southland tour that starts in Invercargill on Sunday 28 October.
Former national rowing representative Ian Smallman is also coming into form at the right time, winning in the elite Nelson City Cathedral Criterium last weekend. Simon Binney has been building for Southland with a number of races in the North Island, including the Round the Mountain Handicap Race in Taranaki, where he recorded the second fastest time.
The tour’s key stage will be from Te Anau to the Crown Range along with the tough Bluff Hill stage where Godfrey said “it's hard to gain much time but easy to lose a lot.”
The SUBWAY® Pro Cycling team for the Powernet Tour of Southland is: Simon Binney, Nick Lovegrove, Paul Odlin, Ian Smallman, Dylan Kennett and Westley Gough.
Godfrey said the search for a new sponsor for the team is continuing. SUBWAY® Restaurants finishes its sponsorship of the SUBWAY® Pro Cycling Team in December.