ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast riders Isabelle Carnes, Hamish McKenzie and Cameron Rodgers have been named as three of 11 Australia’s junior cyclists who will get a taste of life as a professional athlete when they travel to Europe on AusCycling’s under-19 endurance camp this year.
Isabelle, Hamish and Cameron will represent the Australian Cycling Team from their base in Belgium for a month of racing abroad departing May 1st.
The camp will give them a taste of what it’s like to live overseas while competing in an international peloton, riding on unfamiliar roads and immersing themselves in different cultures.
Australian Cycling Academy CEO Matt Wilson congratulated the riders on their selection and was thrilled to see opportunities for young athletes in Europe after a tough few years racing impacted by COVID-19.
“For our young guns to have an opportunity like this is extremely valuable, after such a long period of reduced racing, this trip will provide some vital high level race exposure that will pay dividends for the future. I congratulate the riders and AusCycling who have done a tremendous job pulling this together.”
Still subject to confirmation, it’s hoped the team will race UCI Junior Nations’ Cup events in France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Belgian one-day races, including the under-19 women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, are also on the provisional calendar.
It's worth noting that good results in the Nations’ Cup would help Australia qualify for more starting spots at its home UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong.
This camp will be the first such overseas development opportunity that AusCycling has organised since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“This project is a vital part of our elite endurance development pathway,” said Donna Rae-Szalinski, who is leading the camp for the Australian Cycling Team.
“It will provide under-19s with exposure to the European race environment, including larger fields and technical courses.
“It will also provide insights into the lifestyle requirements when competing at an international level. We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity!”
The riders will depart for Belgium on May 1.
It’s been a great start to the year for ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, the athletes have now claimed 28 wins so far this year in just 7 weeks of competition.
In recent success Isabelle took out the U-19 Tour of Gippsland plus Cameron Rogers the Junior Men’s Road Race at the Federation University National Road Championships in January.