NZ Elite Road Nationals:
Australian Road Nats:
WANT TO BE PART OF THE ‘TEAM’ IN 2018?
From G2I and Warrnambool to the recent Tour of Tassie, 2017 has been a year filled with some fantastic highlights for AMR Renault Racing. As one NRS season draws to a close, the planning for 2018 is already well advanced. We’re thrilled to be welcoming back the nucleus of both our riding and supporter ranks. But as always there’s room for more, especially corporate and/or personal sponsors who share the same passion we do – to nurture up and coming riders and provide the opportunities and framework they need to make that next big step in the Elite ranks. We’ve been doing it for the past 5 seasons now, continually punching way above our weight, and we’re looking forward to doing it once again in 2018.
Interested in helping us make it happen?
Email Team Director Russell Menzies here
🐝 💪 🐝 💪 🐝 💪 🐝 💪
In case you missed it, the recent Grafton to Inverell Classic saw the NRS debut of AMR Renault Racing’s all-new 2017 ‘killer bee’ kit.
Created in close consultation with Ollie and the legends at Prism.Bike – one of Australia’s edgiest and fastest-emerging cycling apparel brands – Team Director Russell Menzies reports the guys are stoked with the look and quality of the gear, “especially the uber comfortable blue chamois, it’s brilliant.”
G2I also saw the launch of the team’s new alter-ego, the Killer Bees. It’s a little different for cycling, sure, but we just love it. And the great news is you’ll soon have the chance to get some Killer Bee action for yourself with your own team kit from Prism.Bike.
Watch this space…
True, 2016 may still have few races left in it yet, including the upcoming Tour of Bright. But we’re excited to say the 2017 season is already shaping as the biggest and best in the five-year history of AMR Renault Racing with several important pieces now firmly in place.
Luigi and the team at AMR Renault have been long-term supporters and we’re thrilled to have them back in 2017, ensuring we’ll continue to have the best team cars in the NRS convoy for a third successive season.
Australia’s #1 online cycling retailer, Pushys, are pumped to be returning for a second season and will once again play a significant role in backing the team with bikes, gear and service support during 2017.
Our affiliate CA club since day one, Lidcombe-Auburn Cycling Club, are back and together we’re looking to create even stronger links in 2017 and beyond, both with the LACC juniors (who are flying right now, just quietly!) and the wider Club member base.
“Since the team began back in 2012 we’ve never been in such an advanced position at this stage of the off-season.” Team Director Russell Menzies.
“It’s a testament to the riders and what they’ve been able to achieve, but also to the commitment and passion of our sponsors. They’re just as excited about the path we’re on right now as we are ourselves. Just as it is with cycling teams at every level of the sport globally, their support is just so important. They make it all possible each season, and we’re hugely grateful for everything they do. We can’t wait to repay their faith in 2017.”
While the details are still being finalised, the bulk of the Team’s other 2016 sponsors also look set to return, which is clearly more great news. Watch this space…and watch this team!
After an extended mid-year break, AMR Renault Racing makes its full return to the 2016 National Road Series this Friday, sending a strong 5-man squad to Victoria for the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley.
The team secured 5th on overall GC in the 2015 race, and following an outstanding result in Round 1 of the NRS (Grafton to Inverell), securing second overall on the Team’s Classification behind only Avanti-IsoWhey, it heads to King Valley once again full of confidence. But the season’s main targets lie slightly further ahead.
“Several of the boys have been racing overseas, while those who stayed home have been training the house down through winter,” said Team Director, Russell Menzies. “King Valley provides a great opportunity for us to switch firmly back into NRS mode with plenty of big targets on the near horizon. We’re hunting stage wins and a high team classification, but whatever we do this weekend, we know we’ll be doing even better come Gippsland, the National Capital Tour and Tasmania where we’ve always performed well.”
After four months competing in the UCI World Cup MTB series in Europe, U23 rider Tasman Nankervis is being rested. While NZ-based Joshua Aldridge is expected to return in a week’s time for the Tour of Gippsland.
The 4-stage 2016 Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley starts with a 9km ITT on Friday morning, followed by a 39km criterium in Wangaratta. Road races on Saturday (incuding several dirt sectors) and Sunday round out the Tour.
AMR Renault Racing squad – 2016 Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley:
Tim Cameron, Tristan Ward, Aaron Watts, Kris Johnston, Jason Thomason.
The 2016 National Road Series kicks off this Saturday with the 56th staging of the 228km Grafton to Inverell Classic along the Gwydir Highway in northern NSW. This will be AMR Renault Racing’s third start in the historic one-day race, with our highest placing to date being 8th in 2015.
While it doesn’t always decide the outcome, the challenging ascent of the Gibraltar Rage almost always shapes it. After having Matt climbing in the lead group back in 2014 and Tim setting the fastest overall time in 2015, the lads are confident of another forward showing, especially with the addition of a fully-fit Josh Aldridge who missed last year’s race through injury. Like Tim, Josh is at home in hills and has shown strong form so far in 2016.
Sean Lake will be going for a trifecta of wins and will be tough to beat. But it’s always a brutal race with undulating terrain and over 3,300m of climbing and, as we all know in cycling, anything can happen on the day.
Weather forecast looks pretty good. The NRS boys roll out from Grafton at 7:30am with riders expected into Inverell at around 1:30pm.
See the full start list here.
AMR Renault to race G2I with bells in world-first sponsorship deal
The first race of the 2016 National Road Series may still be five weeks away. But the team at AMR Renault Racing is delighted to announce a world-first sponsorship deal – albeit a somewhat unusual one.
In the deal inked with Canberra-based online cycling retailer and team sponsor, Pushys.com.au, the entire AMR Renault Racing squad will race with all-new HideMyBell integrated Garmin mounts fitted to their Cannondale Super Six Evo’s in the time-honoured 228km Grafton to Inverell Classic on May 7.
“I think we all laughed a bit at first, that’s actually why we decided to announce this on April 1st,” explains Team Director Russell Menzies. “But when you stop and think, it makes plenty of sense. Bicycle bells have been mandatory here in NSW for years now. But since the start of March the fines have risen and the police have been far more active in actually enforcing it, along with other things like reflectors. Safety has always been paramount to us, and we want to set a good example to the wider community. It’s also about solidarity. If everyday riders and club cyclists have to do it, we can do it too. Besides, HideMyBell has a fully integrated design and only weighs a few extra grams.”
According to Shane Wolki, Founder and Owner of Pushys, his company couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. “Bells mightn’t be seen as the most desirable piece of cycling kit we stock, but they’re an important safety device. And if the law says you have to have one, I’d say HideMyBell is a pretty good option. As far as we know this is the first bell sponsorship deal for an elite cycling team anywhere in the world.”
To celebrate the new deal Pushys is offering a 20% discount on all bell purchases until April 20. Just enter the code word BELL at the online checkout.
AMR Renault Racing was represented in National Championship road races on both sides of the Tasman last Sunday. Here’s how our Kiwi connection, Josh and Jason, saw things over in Napier, NZ on what was a pretty brutal day for a 180km road race…
JOSH ALDRIDGE: “The 2016 Elite Nationals moved to the North Island for a change, after being hosted by Christchurch for five years running. It suited me not having to get on a plane [nb. Josh calls Auckland home]. What didn’t suit me so well was the weather, which started off hot and windy and finished very hot and very windy. I made the 5-hour drive to Hawkes Bay on Saturday morning feeling satisfied with my form only four months after fracturing my pelvis, but not really sure with only 5 races in the past 4 months. The course was two laps of a rural circuit followed by 8 laps of a city circuit around Napier, 180km in total. I didn’t want to spend the day chasing pro tour attacks so we decided my best chance of success was to slip into an early move, ideally without burning too many matches. Turns out I only needed one. Six riders escaped early while I spent the first 10km chilling in the bunch. The first time the pace slowed I saw an opening and followed Dion Smith up the road. We were joined by a few others to form a group of six and immediately got to work bridging the one-minute gap. We made the junction about 20km into the race to form a lead group of 12 and extended our lead to the two minute mark. We settled into a good tempo up the first climb and I rolled over the crest in 2nd place with nobody really keen to contest the KOM points. Around the 60km mark another 5 riders came across to join the party, including George Bennett – “we need to move it because Paddy is coming across!” I didn’t know if he was telling the truth but it didn’t matter. We were now about 16 strong with some serious contenders and I got the feeling our break was on a very short leash. Some decided it was time to start sitting on but I kept working, sensing we may be able to stay away. At the 2nd KOM I decided to give myself a chance for more points and went to the front. I steadily increased the pace, trying not to look like I was trying, one rider sprinted past me. 2nd again, but to a different rider. Near 100km, both of my hamstrings decided they’d had enough for the day and cramped up badly. I had to stretch and immediately lost contact with the break. I did all I could to recover before the peloton caught me, which by this stage wasn’t much bigger than the break. There were attacks left, right and centre and it was impossible to hide in the gusty conditions. It wasn’t long before I was dropped again. I had a few friends for company and we spent the next three laps in survival mode until we were pulled by the commissaires – I was disappointed not to be given the chance to finish. When I saw the riders who beat me on the first two KOMs on the side of the road it also occurred to me that they probably didn’t get anymore points either. Tuned out I finished 2nd overall in the KOM competition which was some consolation for a hard day in the saddle.”
JASON THOMASON: “Well it was a tough day out on the course in Napier, touching 30+ degrees with cross winds at times of around 40km/h. Physically and mentally I was just never in the race unfortunately. I think a combination of anxiety of racing in my first Elite Nationals, and an over-taper left me feeling extremely underdone. I tried for an early move but was unable to pick it and before long my HR was through the roof for the above reasons; hitting 170bpm when still in the neutral zone and then 190bpm every time we came up a rise once the race got going. I knew Josh was up the road so I tried to tough it out for the odd chance I may ride myself into the race, but eventually got spat out just prior to reaching the inner city finishing circuit. In the end it was one of those learning experience days, and I’m already in the process of going through the lead up with my coach to maybe do things a bit differently next time.”
1 – Jason Christie (Mid South Canterbury)
2 – Dion Smith (Auckland)
3 – Hamish Schreurs (Canterbury)
The off-season is nearing an end. 2016 bursts to life next week with AMR Renault Racing strongly represented in the Elite and U23 fields at the Mars 2016 Australian National Championships, while across the Tasman Josh will also be in action at the NZ Nationals in Napier. Several of the guys will then line up for the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic towards the end of January. We wish them all well.