The winter National Road Series hibernation period is definitely over with the second tour of the season about to kick off in the warmer northern New South Wales climate. Tour of Tweed has always been a favourable destination for the team offering a brief period of warmth for riders who have struggled through training in less than ideal conditions further south.
No one in the team could argue with Blake Agnoletto’s claims that he suffered through the worst winter slaving through the Bendigo cold to remerge with not only a heap of form but also a well-deserved NRS debut start. At just 16, Agnoletto becomes one of the youngest riders to have raced the NRS and we had hoped he’d be the team’s secret weapon. However, with a run of impressive race wins and podiums across the Victorian scene, he has well and truly established himself as an exciting prospect for the future.
Jason Thomason might not be taking Strava leader boards by storm but the word on the street is he’s moving pretty well. An extremely consistent rider, Thomason will be targeting a strong GC result in a race that suits his characteristics. Stage 2 is set to be a hard mans battle with over 2200m climbing over 140km and dirt sections scattered throughout the day. Thomason loves a bit of gravel action and will be licking his lips at the prospects of dishing out some pain.
Tristan Saunders will look to use all his recent aerodynamic tips to slice through the wind on the Stage 3 time trial however, he’ll have to leave his TT bike at home as is standard with NRS time trials. Stage 1 might also play into Saunders hands, as he’s a sprinter who can also get over climbs. The rolling nature of the course always makes it hard to predict but Saunders will hope to be in the mix come the finale.
Ethan Egglestone has doubled his kilometre load to 400k a week so should be absolutely flying going into this tour. The climber will look to provide strong support throughout the hills as well as morale boosting memes off the bike.
Iven Bennett is always an engine and the harder the race, the more Iven froths it. Venturing back to the homeland of Tasmania over uni break, Bennett will have to deal with the 30 degree temperature difference but if the summer of cycling was anything to go by, Bennett will be one to contend with.
Rounding out the team are Rylan Dowdell and Liam Lawlor who will slip into supporting roles as well as the occasionally breakaway. Strong all rounders who are capable of getting their own result, they finish off a well-rounded squad with a few different cards to play.
All the coverage from the tour will be available through the team social pages as well as the National Road Series facebook page. Once again, this would not be possible without the help of all our sponsors. They give us the opportunity to race against the best in the country and we hope we can show them what we are capable of.