Be part of the ‘Killer Bees’ in 2018

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

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‘Killer Bees’ buzzing thanks to Prism.Bike

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…

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2017 Killer Bee, Sean Trainor. (Photo: Prism.Bike/@cyclebro)
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Excitement builds for 2017

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. 

 

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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!

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AMR Renault returns in 2016

We’re delighted to announce AMR Renault will continue its association with the team for a second year, after reaffirming its commitment for the 2016 road racing season, including the National Road Series.

 

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“The team has had a fantastic year in 2015 with AMR Renault on board,” said a delighted Team Director, Russell Menzies. “We’ve made huge strides in the past 12 months as a squad and are on the cusp of even bigger things next season. The continued commitment from Luigi and the team at AMR Renault is a hugely important part of achieving that. The team cars have been superb and even better the guys also love their cycling – and rest assured we love them too!”

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As was the case for the 2015 season – when the team received the keys to a bespoke Renault Megane wagon and Trafic commercial van, a key part of the 2016 AMR Renault sponsorship will again include the provision of official team vehicles – a vital contribution given the very nature of the NRS involves vast amounts of time on the road each season.

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According to Menzies, beyond AMR Renault’s continued sponsorship a series of new partners will be announced for 2016 in the coming weeks.

“Success breeds success, no question,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of interest following our results this season, especially in the second half of the year, both from potential sponsors, suppliers and riders. The quality of contacts has been sky high too, which is always a nice position to be in. As things are finalised we’ll be releasing the news, so stay tuned!”

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AMR Renault is based at Haberfield in Sydney’s inner west.

 

Sunderland creates history in Tasmania

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Dylan wins solo in Grindelwald. (Photo: Cycling Australia)

Dylan Sunderland has continued his awesome run of form in 2015, taking out the overall Young Rider Classification at the 2015 Jayco Tour of Tasmania and finishing an outstanding 3rd on overall GC, just 8 seconds behind winner Brad Evans. On the way he created an important piece of history for the team, winning our maiden NRS stage, on Stage 4 from Launceston to Grindelwald with an impressive late attack.

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Winner 2015 Young Rider Classification. (Photo: Cycling Australia)

Huge thanks go to the entire squad for helping Dylan get this historic win. Ben Carman, Matt Slee, Aaron Watts and Tim Cameron busted their tails for the team all week – and Dylan returned the favour in spades by finishing things off beautifully when it mattered most. Tim also rode a wonderful tour, showing outstanding form to finish an impressive 15th overall, less than 40 seconds off Brad Evans.

Next stop is Warney on Saturday and the small matter of 279km….

3rd on GC, the team's first overall NRS podium
3rd on GC, the team’s first overall NRS podium. (Photo: Cycling Australia)

Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley

AMR Renault Racing will send a strong squad of six to next week’s Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley (NRS) in Victoria.

 

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2015 regulars Tim Cameron, Aaron Watts and U23 Toby Orchard will be at the start line in the famed wine region, together with team captain Kris Johnston who’ll be making his season debut – his first NRS race since becoming a dad earlier this year. The quartet will be joined by two highly-credentialed guest riders from Queensland, John Freiberg and Ben Carman.

After training alongside current team-members Aaron Watts and Dylan Sunderland since a recent move to Inverell, former Budget Forklifts rider John Freiberg brings with him a wealth of NRS and international riding experience that saw him riding across Europe for the elite Italian squad Team Parolin when still just U19. John has also placed in the top 10 at both U23 and Elite level at the Australian National Road Championships. Most recently he’s been competing in the 2015 QLD Road Series.

John Freiberg competing in round one of this year's QLD Road Series.
John Freiberg competing in round one of this year’s QLD Road Series.

Former Queensland U19 Road Champion and National U19 bronze medallist Ben Carman also joins the squad for the trip to Victoria. Still an U23, Ben has raced internationally in both Europe and Asia. He’s also lined up in multiple NRS events over the past few seasons. He’s recently returned from a racing stint overseas and prior to that was also competing in the 2015 QLD Road Series.

Ben Carman, winning.
Ben Carman, winning.

The 4-stage Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley begins next Friday, 21 August, with a short individual time trial at Whitfield, south of Wangaratta.

AMR Renault Racing Squad:
Kris Johnston
Tim Cameron
Aaron Watts
Toby Orchard
John Freiberg (guest)
Ben Carman (guest)

NRS kicks back into gear

The month of August doesn’t just mean winter is on its last legs. It also means the traditional NRS mid-year break is nearly over, with the series set to kick back into gear with a busy second half of the year. According to Team Director, Russell Menzies, the AMR Renault Racing boys are raring to go.

 

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Dylan and Matt have seen plenty of cobbles – and success – over in Belgium (Photo: Heidi Lannoo Photography)

“The season always has a bit of a winter break, but this year it’s been exacerbated by the cancellations of both the Gippsland and Murray tours. That was unfortunate, but the one upside is the opportunity it’s given our guys to train and race hard closer to home,” he said. “Except, of course, for Dylan and Matt who’ve been doing the team proud over in Belgium with multiple top 10s, several podiums and a fine win for Dylan last month. The break’s been a great chance for the guys to sort out any niggles and recharge their batteries for what promises to be a pretty full-on climax to the 2015 domestic season.”

The next NRS outing for AMR Renault Racing will be the 4-stage Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley from 21-23 August, recently upgraded to full NRS status. It’s then all systems go for the National Capital Tour in Canberra.

“Like many of the squads we’ll be using Canberra as a key build-up race for the Tour of Tasmania,” explains Menzies. “We’ll certainly be sending a powerful team down to Tassie, loaded with climbers of course, it’s a real highlight of the season for us. We’ll be defending the polkadot jersey we claimed in 2014, together with top 10 finishes on both the overall and young rider classifications, and top 5 placing on the team’s classification.”

The NRS season then rounds out with two brutal one-day tests in mid-October – the Melbourne to Warrnambool and Grafton to Inverell classics.

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NRS Review: Tour of Toowoomba & Battle on the Border

The recent NRS double header saw the guys race at the Tour of Toowoomba and Battle on the Border. Here’s a review of how it all went…

 

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The AMR Renault Racing Team opened up their 2015 NRS season with the Tour of Toowoomba and Battle on the Border double. After opting to skip the earlier Perth and Adelaide tours, we had a motivated group of seven riders, equipped with brand-new Ridleys courtesy of Bike Bug, itching to get stuck into our first NRS race of the year.

First up was Toowoomba and the boys, based at Jolly Swagman Motel, had a bit of a rough week. The team made a conservative start to a tough two weeks of racing, despite missing the decisive break on the opening stage they finished strongly in the front part of the peloton.

From day two things started to turn slightly pear shaped. After a solid performance from Matt Slee in the mornings TT, the afternoon’s 167km road stage was where it all happened. The Peloton had to contend with strong winds, lumpy terrain and challenging gravel sections. A bit of bad luck and positioning saw Josh, Dylan and Toby hit the deck in the late stages of the race, ending their chances to contest the finish. Tim finished strongly just 25 secs behind the winner after the peloton blew to pieces over the final climb and gravel roads.

There were glimpses of what the team is capable of on a very challenging stage four. Strong riding from Matt and Tim and a late attack from Josh netted him a 14th place on the stage, however the bad luck for Dylan continued as he crashed again, ending his tour while Cam and Toby also had to abandon. This left the team with only four riders, not particularly suited to the final stage criterium but we were involved in some of the breaks regardless. At the end of the 5 stages, Tim was our best placed on GC in 38th and we made the trip to the coast for the Battle on the Border with a few battered bodies and bikes.

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Checking into Crystal Beach apartments in Tugan was a great result before the Battle even started. With spacious beachfront rooms the team enjoyed a relaxing three days and the same seven riders started the Battle on the Boarder in great shape.

The opening stage provided a confidence boost, getting three riders to the top of Mt Warning ahead of all but two teams! Tim and Josh finished 11th and 13th respectively with Dylan not far behind. This put AMR Renault Racing into 3rd on the overall team’s classification which we held until the final day.

Throughout stage 2 and 3 the team rode aggressively, getting involved in the majority of the breaks. Particularly Aaron, Matt and Dylan sniffing opportunities for stage success, unfortunately none quite paying off. A standout performance was Toby Orchard in his first year in the NRS working tirelessly for the team collecting bottles and finishing 11th in a fast stage 3 sprint into Murwillumbah.

Going into the final day’s TT and criterium, Tim and Josh were both eyeing top 10 spots on GC, but unfortunately slipping to 12th and 15th respectively. (the team ultimately finished 5th on the overal classification, a solid result).

There were a huge amount of positives from the past two weeks, becoming tighter as a team with every race. Matt, Aaron and Cam were always in the mix at the pointy end of the peloton. Dylan and Toby, who are barely 19 stepped up to much longer NRS distances with ease. Tim and Josh showing they have the experience and capability for overall top 10’s. This gives us plenty to look forward to when the NRS returns in Spring.

A big thanks to our support team Russell, Kris and Pete Sunderland for taking time off work and away from their families to support us. And to all our sponsors AMR Renault, Bikebug, Piazza D’Oro, Lidcombe-Auburn CC, Tineli, Cellarbrations, Signwave and Active Supps.

High hopes for FKG Tour of Toowoomba

AMR Renault Racing will make its 2015 National Road Series debut in the FKG Tour of Toowoomba starting tomorrow.

After skipping the first two races on the NRS calendar in Perth and Adelaide, a full squad of seven riders has been assembled for the four-day five-stage tour. With several riders showing excellent early season form, led by kiwi Josh Aldridge and the rapidly-maturing Dylan Sunderland from nearby Inverell, expectations are high for 2015 – especially after the team surprised plenty in its first full season in the NRS in 2014.

“We’re going into Toowoomba with high expectations this year,” said AMR Renault Racing Team Director Russell Menzies. “We’ve been there before, we know the roads, and with a core of really strong and in-form riders I’d go as far as saying we’re looking for a top team position. We did it in Tasmania last year, so that’s not out of reach. Who knows? Maybe even a podium or two, certainly high finishing places on the stages.”

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Looking towards this race and the following week’s Battle on the Border, Menzies sees the versatility within the 2015 squad as a major strength. “We have several genuine cards to play this season, which is a great position to be in. All the guys are stronger for the experience of 2014. Obviously we’re expecting guys like Josh and Dylan to be thereabouts, but even guys like Matt Slee and Tim Cameron. They can really make their presence felt and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see them right in the thick of things. It’s also great to see a young guy like Toby Orchard step up to make his NRS debut, he’s been with us for a couple of seasons now and it’s time for him to show what he’s made of.”

Stage One of the FKG Tour of Toowoomba is an undulating 153km road race from Nobby to Highfields. It will be followed by a double stage day on Friday, with a 9km Individual Time Trial in the morning and a 162km road race in the afternoon before the Tour reaches its finale with another two stages over the weekend, including the now-traditional Sunday criterium around Queens Park.

 

Squad for FKG Tour of Toowoomba:
Joshua Aldridge, Dylan Sunderland, Matt Slee, Aaron Watts, Tim Cameron, Cameron Fraser, Toby Orchard (NRS debut).

Team Managers: Kris Johnston & Peter Sunderland
Team Director: Russell Menzies

FKG Tour of Toowoomba