Fourteen teenage cyclists have been named to be part of the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub programme.
The Hub, launched in Auckland this week, is the fourth of a planned eight hubs by Cycling New Zealand to form a network around the country offering a pathway to the future success of high performance cycling in New Zealand.
It follows regional cycling performance hubs, sponsored nationally by Subway, established in Waikato-Bay of Plenty and Otago-Southland along with a national hub for Mountain Bike in Rotorua.
Head Coach of the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub, Shem Rodger, announced the first intake of riders to join the programme.
They are – Male: Liam Cappel (Saint Kentigern College), Hamish Ducat (Auckland Grammar School), Oscar Elworthy (Takapuna Grammar School), Harris Fogelberg (Auckland Grammar School), Theo Gilbertson (King’s College), Ben Hamilton (Auckland Grammar School), Josh Kench (Takapuna Grammar School), Harry Waine (Takapuna Grammar School), Aaron Wyllie (Auckland Grammar School).
Female: Georgia Danford (St Cuthbert’s College), Dayna Haythorne (Epsom Girls Grammar School), Jenna Merrick (Baradene College), Stella Nightingale (Epsom Girls Grammar School), Renee Young (Takapuna Grammar School).
Wyllie and Waine are in the New Zealand track team that will compete in the Junior World Championships in Italy in August.
Fogelberg, Hamilton, and Ducat were in the successful Auckland Grammar cycling programme. Fogelberg is the current national schools road champion; Ducat was runner-up in the national schools time trial and won a stage of the Te Awamutu Tour and Hamilton won the Under-19 national road title recently.
Kench was runner-up in the Under-17 national road championship; Cappel and Gilbertson were members of the New Zealand under-19 team in Australia last year; while Elworthy was runner-up to world champion Campbell Stewart in the Points Race at the national schools championship.
In the females, Danford was runner-up in the national schools road race. Haythorne was the recently North Harbour Junior Tour and fellow Epsom Girls Grammar rider Nightingale was third in the Points at the national schools championship. Merrick won the bronze medal as a first year under-19 rider at the national omnium championships and Young was third in the U17 national criterium championships.
“Investing in development and performance pathways is a key to securing top talent and continuing to grow New Zealand’s performance outcomes on the world stage,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO, Andrew Matheson.
“The Cycling Performance Hubs have strong regional ties and connections with locally-based riders, coaches and local sponsors. To this degree we are indebted to Barfoot & Thompson for their support in making this project a reality.”
“We are proud to have the chance to help cultivate future stars of Cycling New Zealand, and we are excited to support our local talent in Auckland. We look forward to watching the development of these young people not only in Auckland, but also in New Zealand,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director, Barfoot & Thompson.