The Australian Cycling Academy is bolstering its ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast roster ahead of the new year, with the signing of 10 promising new riders and announcement of a three-year contract extension with the Sunshine Coast Council.
The signings follow ACA’s recent announcement of a brand new four-day National Road Series (NRS) cycling tour for the Sunshine Coast, giving the Australian UCI Continental cycling team — sponsored by leading Australian building and facility services company ARA Group — the chance to hit local roads for the first time with stages to be broadcast nationally.
ACA Director Ben Kersten said the improved lineup and new initiatives will take the team to new heights in 2021, with both the men’s and women’s teams targeting the NRS series to win.
“We’re committed to upholding our founding ‘live, learn, ride’ principles for next season by targeting some quality and consistent performers including climbers and time-trialists to strengthen the team where we’ve been weak in the past,” he said.
“Our two prime signings are Angus Lyons and Jay Vine who both cleaned up in the NRS last week, securing wins in a series road race and finishing in the top 10 in multiple stages. We’re sure they’ll layer the team and strengthen our capabilities in climbing and general classification.”
“We’re also excited to have signed promising junior rider Declan Trezice, who won two gold medals at the national road titles this year, and two new riders from Perth — sprinter Craig Wiggins and up-and-coming rider Oliver Stenning — who will further strengthen the team.”
Alongside the new riders, many of ARA Pro Racing’s fan-favorites will also be returning for the new season, including former World Omnium Champion and NRS winner Michael Freiburg, and 16-time Para World Championship medalist Alistair Donohoe.
ARA Group Founder and Managing Director Edward Federman said after initially being drawn to the team’s ‘live, learn, ride’ philosophy, ARA Group was excited to come on board as the official naming sponsor for ARA Pro Cycling in 2020, with exciting things to come in 2021.
“As a company with over 2500 employees across the country, encouraging the physical health and wellbeing of our people has always been a priority for ARA Group. We’re incredibly proud to have sponsored the ARA Pro Cycling team through its many successes this year, and we’re excited to continue to support its athletic and educational initiatives in the years ahead,” he said.
ARA Products Managing Director Stuart Harmer said: “Although we and the rest of the world were thrown a pretty big curve ball in our first year as naming sponsors of ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, we continue to be impressed with the evolution of the team and their management, and we look forward to what 2021 has in store,” he said.
Ben Kersten said he was excited to see what the future held with the property-service giant as they look towards moving an office on the Sunshine Coast.
“ARA Group is a great organisation and a huge supporter of the ACA. The ACA and the ARA Group share many aligned philosophies and core founding principles and we’re thrilled to have them on board as a major sponsor of Cycle Sunshine Coast in October next year along with the Sunshine Coast Council.”
The ACA are excited to announce the re-signing of the Sunshine Coast Council for three more years after 36 months of successful collaboration.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said Sunshine Coast Council was proud to continue as a principal partner of the ACA for a further three years.
“Since launching in 2017, the academy has catapulted our region onto the world stage, with ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast riders amassing eight world championship wins, six Commonwealth Games medals, and seven national championships to name only a few of the team’s major accomplishments.
“The Sunshine Coast tourism, sport and leisure industries benefit enormously from the Australian Cycling Academy being based in our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
For more information on the ACA and ARA Pro Cycling, visit https://www.aca-cycling.cc/about/