Monday, 5 November 2007

New Australian Pro Track Team

From Cycling Australia:

5 November 2007

Media Release
Toshiba and Cycling Australia - The Perfect Team

The gold medal hopes of Australian track cycling have been boosted by the announcement today that Toshiba (Australia) Information Systems Division (ISD) is now an official sponsor of Cycling Australia.

The partnership will involve the formation of Team Toshiba, an Australian professional track cycling team, and sponsorship of the 'The Cyclones' - the National Team. Toshiba's sponsorship provides an exciting opportunity for more of Australia's talented track stars to compete in world class events.

Team Toshiba will debut at the Sydney round of the 2007-08 UCI World Cup Classics commencing 30 November 2007. The Sydney World Cup will bring together more than 400 riders from 48 nations to contest 17 events. ‘The Cyclones’, as well as contesting the World Cup Classics, will also compete at the World Championships in March 2008 in Manchester, England.

“The pure intensity of Toshiba’s full product range aligns perfectly with the speed, skill and excitement of the cycling sport,” said Mark Whittard, General Manager, Toshiba Information Systems Division. “As a company, we feel an enormous sense of pride to be able to assist Australian cyclists further their careers and attempt to secure gold around the globe.”

Cycling is a worldwide phenomenon enjoying enormous popularity, as four out of ten Australians own a bicycle. The Toshiba sponsorship allows Australian cyclists to have an increased presence on the international cycling circuit.

“Toshiba’s support will provide extra pedalling power for our athletes and give more of our talented cyclists an opportunity to shine,” said Graham Fredericks, Chief Executive Officer of Cycling Australia. “As an organisation we feel Australia’s chances heading towards the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are heightened dramatically with Toshiba’s support.”

Team Toshiba will boast a stellar line up of Australian talent including dual Olympic gold medallist, Ryan Bayley and reigning Olympic and World Champion, Anna Meares, who says she is delighted to be given the opportunity to race with the team.

“It’s fabulous that Toshiba is backing the track program and I know the support they give us will be crucial in our bid for gold,” said Meares. “Team Toshiba has an outstanding roster of experienced performers and some promising young talent and I expect we’ll post some great results during the season.”

The complete team roster is: Ryan Bayley, Jack Bobridge, Peter Dawson, Zakkari Dempster, Daniel Ellis, Mark Jamieson, Shane Kelly, Anna Meares, Cameron Meyer and Scott Sunderland.

Following the sponsorship of the Soccer World Cup in 2006 and Rugby World Cup in early 2007, Toshiba continues its commitment to outstanding Australian sportspeople by supporting Cycling Australia. As part of the exclusive sponsorship, Toshiba will have advertising and signage rights for both Team Toshiba and ‘The Cyclones’ as well as access to the nation’s top cyclists.

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So basically, it means that some (most??) of the national team riders are now also in the professional team, rather than 2 separate teams existing. I think it's called double dipping, but if it means more opportunities for track racing (am wondering how that might work with 2 teams created from one group of [the same] riders), then that must surely be a Good ThingTM.?

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