New Zealand Under-19 team named for UCI Nations Cup in Canada

Road & Track
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Some of New Zealand’s best young road cyclists will head to Canada next month, to compete against the world’s best junior riders. 

Cycling New Zealand has selected a six-strong male team from the highly competitive junior ranks. Riders Max Preece (Auckland), Toby Evans (Central Hawkes Bay), Elliot Robertson (Wellington), Jack Gillingham (Tauranga), Cameron Beaumont (Nelson) and Kallum Mardon (Waikato) will head to Quebec early next month to compete in North America’s only UCI Nation’s Cup event, the Tour de l’Abitibi.

The Tour takes place over seven days, seven stages, and involves over 700km of racing.  It is part of a series of nine worldwide Nations Cup competitions of the Union Cycliste International (UCI).  This series has been the platform for some of the best juniors to break into the professional ranks of the World Tour teams.  

 “New Zealand is blessed with a number of quality riders in our junior ranks,” said Mark Prutton, New Zealand Junior Team Director Sportif. “These young men have the tactical, technical, physical and psychological acumen to perform with distinction at this race representing New Zealand and I am excited to see them race.

“This tour is also a fantastic experience for them travelling and living in a foreign cycling environment and experiencing a variety of racing against some incredibly strong competition,” Prutton said.

This tour is the initial international return for New Zealand Juniors post-Covid in a journey that Cycling New Zealand hopes can lead more and more young kiwis towards a professional career in cycling.

The last time that a New Zealand Under-19 team was able to compete overseas was the tour to Europe in 2019, which proved successful in developing riders in the team, including a professional contract for Reuben Thompson with Groupama-FDJ, who will move fulltime to their WorldTour team in 2023.

Photo credit: Kirsty Wilson

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