​Pedal Power set to take over Big Kart Track with launch of criterium sprint series

Friday, 31 May 2019 posted by Sally Prowd


Landsborough’s iconic Big Kart Track is set to be overtaken by cyclists with the announcement of a brand new criterium series – The Fast Track Criterium Sprint Series - with competitors vying for up to $5,000 prize money.


An initiative of the Sunshine Coast based Australian Cycling Academy, the innovative criterium series is expected to be a major hit with the cycling community with divisions for juniors, masters and the elite A Grade division which will attract leading male and female cyclists from across Australia. With the support of Ironman, the first two events have been strategically placed on the eve of two of the region’s major cycling related events; Velothon Sunshine Coast and the Noosa Tri Weekend.

Australian Cycling Academy Managing director Ben Kersten said he was delighted to be able to undertake the inaugural criterium at the Big Kart Track.


“Everyone knows about the Big Kart Track, it’s the largest kart track in Australia and over the past thirty years the owners have created a brilliant track which has specifically been designed for high speed karts.

“We had this idea that it could be great for cycling also and we were excited that the Big Kart Track were so supportive of the concept. I rode the track recently and it was an exciting experience; it is seriously one of the best criterium circuits I have ridden across the world. The prize money on offer is at the higher end of events and we expect that it will attract some really exciting riders including our own Pro Racing Sunshine Coast riders. Prize money is on offer for the Masters division while the Men’s and Women’s divisions will have parity in prize money.


“We have designed this event to be all about the experience for riders and spectators. The great thing about this event is that whole race can be viewed from the decks overlooking the circuit. It’s going to great under lights, with live DJ, bars and food options. It’s an event for the whole family and the kids will be able to ride the supervised junior track and best of all it’s free for spectators to come and enjoy all the action,” Ben said.

The Fast Track Criterium Sprint Series is being delivered with the support of the McKean Group, Metsure Insurance Brokers, Sunshine Coast Cycling Club and Cycling Queensland.


The first event will be held on Thursday night July 18 with second series event on Thursday night October 31. Entries are now open for both events with early bird entry prices available until June 30.
Register here.



Team geared up for toughest race of the year this weekend

Thursday, 9 May 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast geared up for toughest race of the year this weekend

The Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team will head to northern NSW this weekend for the toughest one-day race on the Australian calendar, the Grafton to Inverell Classic on Saturday 11th May.

The 228 kilometre National Road Series race is renowned as the toughest in Australia, and this year includes a brutal 3382 metres of climbing.

PRSC will take a strong line up of riders to the Classic, with Buderim local Jonathan Noble leading the team.

The USC Commerce student has been a stand out rider locally this season, and has raced with the team in China, Japan and Malaysia so far this past year.

His strong recent form, including a 10th place in the Tour de Langkawi last month, makes him a huge threat for line honours ahead of Saturday’s race.

PRSC Sports Director, Stuart Shaw, said the young local rider was in the best form of his career in recent weeks.

“We’ve selected a young squad for this weekend, 6 of them are students at USC, and I’m excited to see what they can achieve in the Grafton,” Shaw said.

“The whole squad are in really good shape, and really it’s an opportunity to show how far they have come.”

Supporting Noble will be Michael Potter, Ashley Mackay, Zack Gilmore, Amarni Drake, Taj Jones and Matt Rice.

The Classic will be live streamed for local fans of the team to watch via the National Road Series Facebook page from 4 – 5pm on Saturday 11th May.

Velothon Sunshine Coast

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

It's just two and a half months now until the Velothon Sunshine Coast!

Join us for one of our bespoke Velothon camps, where we take all the planning and stress away so you can focus on what you're there for: riding.

The Velothon is an amateur multi-stage event gran fondo style event, throughout the beautiful terrain of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Our camps let you experience racing like the professionals do, with full team support including meals, accommodation, massage, soigneur support, mechanic, follow cars and support from professional race directors who run our PRSC race team.

We have two camp styles available, the Velo Team experience and the Velo Lifestyle experience. Each cater to those doing either the three day or one day Velothon. Both from 18 - 21 July, 2019. 

For bookings or to find out more, click here.

Give Me 5 Ride For Kids

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

We are thrilled to partner with Aura Sunshine Coast and our media partner, 92.7 MixFM, as ambassadors for the Give Me 5 For Kids Ride for Kids charity cycling event.

The Inaugural Give Me 5 For Kids Ride For Kids is a family-friendly event for weekend peddlers, corporate team building and cycling enthusiasts.

The Give Me 5 for Kids Ride for Kids, to be staged on the brand new streets of Aura Central on Sunday, 26 May will be the new precinct’s first community event and will kick off 92.7 Mix FM’s annual month-long Give Me 5 for Kids fundraising campaign on the Coast to assist local hospital foundation Wishlist.

The event will also host an elite men's and women's criterium alongside the community events, where the ACA riders will compete.

DATE: Sunday 26 May

LOCATION: Aura Central Sunshine Coast circuit - click here to see the track.


Community Bike Ride
A fun event for cyclists of all levels to ride the 3km circuit on Aura Central’s brand new road network. Ride with family and friends and enjoy a festival atmosphere and raise money for Give Me 5 For Kids.

Kids dash
Open to all children under 10, the Kid’s Dash is a 500m supervised event along the main straight of the Aura Central circuit providing children the opportunity to participate in the first Ride For Kids event and to enjoy the sport of cycling. Kids are also welcome to undertake their own fundraising to support Give Me 5 For Kids.

Ride For Kids will feature an opportunity for experienced cyclists to enjoy this inaugural event and the new Aura Central road network. Races will be conducted for both women and men with a fantastic prize money pool for each race of $1,500 including $1,000 for the winner of each race!
Entrants must hold a current Cycling Australia license to participate.
Entrants are encouraged to support Give Me 5 For the Kids and undertake their own fundraising campaign.


Individual 9am -10am Community bike ride
10:30am Kids dash
11:00am - 11:30am Elite Women (must provide CA license number)
11:45am -12:30pm Elite Man (must provide CA license number)
Corporate Teams 9am - 10am Community ride only
Step one: Click here to register for an event.
Step two: Fundraise to support Sunshine Coast patients & families.

We look forward to seeing you at the inaugural Ride For Kids this month! 

O'Brien and Howard storm to Brisbane 6 Day victory

Monday, 22 April 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast riders Kell O'Brien and Leigh Howard produced a stunning final chase victory to steal the men's classification on the final evening of the Six Day Brisbane this month.

The pair, who had performed a similar feat at Melbourne earlier this season, delighted the home crowd at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane in pipping Dutch duo Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga to the post thanks to a stellar performance from youngster O’Brien on the concluding lap.

The Brisbane win also cemented their overall series victory after they lead the series heading into the final event. 

Fellow PRSC team mates Sam Welsford and Cameron Scott placed third overall in the series finale. 

“That was a nail biter,” said O’Brien. “I was so nervous in the last 30 minutes – I didn’t know what was happening and the Dutch guys are so good.

“But Leigh looked after me so well today and hats off to him.” 

Dream start for women's team with victory in first race

Saturday, 13 April 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Our women's team has had a dream start with a victory in the team's first race today.

Maeve Plouffe clinched victory in the National Road Series Tour de Brisbane criterium, ahead of a super strong field in the first NRS race of the season.

Launched in April 2019, the Pro Racing Sunshine Coast women's team is a development team comprised of some of Australia's most promising talent.

The team is a collaboration between the Australian Cycling Academy and Cycling Australia's Podium Potential Academy to establish a clearer pathway for young women cyclists in Australia to the elite level of the sport. 

Announcing the first Pro Racing Sunshine Coast women's team!

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural Australian Cycling Academy women's team!

The team will race under the same team name as the existing men's development team, Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, and from our base at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Managing Director Ben Kersten said It has always been a priority of the ACA to launch a women’s team alongside the men’s team and he was thrilled that it has become a reality just 18 months after launching the Academy.

“The last few years have been really exciting for women’s sport in this country, we’ve seen participation rates rise in a number of the football codes and it’s fantastic that the community has recognised and embraced the quality of elite women’s talent we have in this country.

“Our first female team is a stellar line-up of athletes, including Sunshine Coast local Alex Martin-Wallace with fellow Cycling Australia development riders Samantha de Riter, Sophie Edwards and Maeve Plouffe making up the initial team squad.

“All four women are all very talented riders, each have strong aspirations to be a part of the international professional circuit so we are confident that under our tutelage we can take their performances to the next level. Our goal is to help them develop their skills so they can push towards achieving their ambition of becoming a future Olympian and Australian representative.

“We’ve been thrilled at how well the local community has embraced our men’s team so it’s just fantastic to be able to bring the ACA’s women’s team program to life on the Sunshine Coast. These women are powerful athletes to watch and I am sure our supporters will love watching their journey and development,” Ben said.

USC Director, High Performance Sport Dr Brendan Burkett said the creation of the Australian Cycling Academy has provided a professional framework for cyclists to achieve their sporting aspiration.

“This is something that many people on the Sunshine Coast have been striving to achieve for several years because we wanted to create a clear pathway to further build USC’s high-performance sport programs.
“When the Sunshine Coast based Cycling Academy was proposed there was always an intention to run a men’s and women’s program, so it is very rewarding to launch the women’s program after commencing just 18 months ago,” Dr Burkett said.
The ACA Women’s team also has the support of Cycling Australia via their Podium Potential Academy (PPA) for female endurance riders.

“A key driver of the PPA is our 'learning to win’ philosophy which is primarily driven through a track focussed program, but we recognise the importance of quality road content and road race exposure to complement this. Our new relationship with ACA provides us with a great opportunity to do this,” said Jon Norfolk, Head of Performance Pathways and People at Cycling Australia.

Ben Kersten said an Australian Sports Foundation campaign has been launched to support the women’s team in their journey.
“Our focus is on ensuring that the ACA provides exactly the same opportunities for talented young female cyclists to achieve their goals both on and off the bike. To achieve this, we are actively seeking sponsorship and philanthropic support for the women’s program and best of all, every donation is fully tax-deductible,” Ben said.

Click here to learn more about the Sports Foundation to support the women's program.

The community has the first opportunity to see both Pro Racing Sunshine Coast men’s and women’s teams in action this weekend in the inaugural Brisbane Cycling Festival with both teams competing in the National Road Series one day road race on Sunday April 14 through the streets of Brisbane.


Al Donohoe claims Para-cycling Track World Championships

Thursday, 28 March 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Para-cycling track world champion Alistair Donohoe is keen to take his good form to the road, with the Tour de Langkawi in his sights.

The 24-year-old Pro Racing Sunshine Coast rider claimed the individual pursuit C5 and scratch race C5 titles at Apeldorn in the Netherlands last week.

Now, he's focused on next month's Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, a prominent stage race that includes some of the best road riders in the world.

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast will send a team of six and sprinter Donohoe is expected to press his claims for victory in some stages.

"I've got a bit of speed now coming off the track and I'm going to try to use that to my advantage,” he said.

"I might not have the endurance to play the long, hard game and to compete on the big climbs but there are a few good-looking stages with some nice, solid hills where we could really soften everyone up and then I should be able to go for it.”

Donohoe has limited strength his right arm due to a swing accident as a youngster but has emerged as a highly-competitive rider amid elite fields.

He finished fourth in the queen stage of the Herald Sun Tour earlier this year.

"I would love to come out of (the Tour de Langkawi) with a podium. The dream is to win one of the stages,” he said.

"There are a 150 people in the race who want to win stages and there are only eight stages so it'll be incredibly hard but I will ... really back myself and if the team has the opportunity to back me as well, then I'll try and give it a red-hot crack.”

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast director Ben Kersten said Donohoe could make an impact and he'll likely be the team leader at times.

"It's a really good race for him,” he said.

"Al can get over hilly terrain. Langkawi is quite lumpy so there should be some stages for him to do well in. We'll have our other guys there helping him to do a fast sprint.”

Donohoe shaved six seconds off his personal best on the track last week and Kersten lauded his recent improvements.

"This year he's had a bit of a resurgence here at Pro Racing Sunshine Coast,” he said.

"At the Sun Tour he did extremely well ... he's got confidence and he's coming off the world titles and has speed in his legs so we're expecting great things from him.”

Donohoe is renowned for his enthusiastic approach to cycling but Kersten said they'd scaled things back.

"The best and probably worst thing is his commitment,” he said.

"He just does absolutely everything and anything he can to be better and I think in the past he has pushed that envelope a bit too far.

"So we're making sure he's getting his recovery and he's not doing too much extra and that he's not focusing too much on his weight.

"That's helping his power. He's a lot faster and he's well balanced and his head space is really good. I think he's flourishing.”

But within 24 hours of arriving on the Sunshine Coast from the Netherlands yesterday, he had already done 10 hours of training.

"So that's the focus of the team, to try and rein him back a bit. He just wants to be so good.”

Donohoe is based in Melbourne but is a rider for the University of the Sunshine Coast based Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and he visits the region for training camps.

He will be based here until they leave for the Tour de Langkawi.

Henk Vogels joins ACA management team

Thursday, 28 March 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

One of Australia's most renowned cyclists Henk Vogels has been appointed into a key development role with the Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team.

PRSC Managing Director Ben Kersten said the addition of Henk is a timely boost for the team, particularly with the ongoing expansion of the ACA's commercial assets including sponsorship, memberships, camps, training programs, events, and new partnership and engagement programs.

"I've known Henk for a long time and we've been keen to get him involved for a long time because we know how much value he can add to the team both on and off the bike. Henk's achievements on the bike are legendary and since retirement he has successfully made the transition as a cycling coach, manager and influential media commentator.

"His skillsets in partnerships and sports' directing will help drive our team to the next level while ensuring our sustainability well into the future.

"I am super excited to work with Henk again, he was my Director when I was racing as a Pro in America and I know the value he can bring to the team. He just knows how to get the best out of you and his war stories make any bike ride together very entertaining; he's the perfect Ambassador for us in our corporate networking space,” Ben said.

Henk said he has been following the ACA and PRSC Race Team from the outside since its inception in December 2017 and is especially drawn to their philosophy of Live Learn Ride.

"I am very excited to be now part of this team going forward in 2019, I'll be riding with the team, working with the management and partners, and building new relationships to ensure we are held in the highest regard locally, nationally and internationally,” Henk said.

Vogels was an Australian racing professional who rode several editions of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta d'Espana, and several Olympic and Commonwealth Games across his decade long career.

Behind the scenes with Alistair Donohoe

Thursday, 14 March 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Alistair Donohoe was on the Sunshine Coast for a training camp late last month in his warm up for the Para World Championships in March, and caught up with Cam Nicholls for a chat about his Worlds campaign and aspirations and he heads towards Tokyo 2020. 


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