Women's team slated for 2019

Monday, 3 December 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Women’s team slated in 2019 for Australian Cycling Academy

The Sunshine Coast based Australian Cycling Academy (ACA) has capped off a stellar first year of operation and have announced plans to launch a women’s elite NRS development team from its University of Sunshine Coast base.

Since launching in December 2017, the ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast Men’s Team has competed in 10 countries, recording 94 podium finishes and a remarkable 54 wins including UCI, National and Oceania titles at junior and senior level, multiple Commonwealth Games gold medals and a World Record.

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.

“We simply haven’t been in a financial position to make this happen but I can confirm that it is definitely on the radar and we are edging closer to this goal. The last few years have been really exciting for women’s sport in this country and it’s fantastic that the Australian community has recognised and embraced the quality of elite women’s talent.

“Our first female athlete, Sunshine Coast local Alex Martin-Wallace, was recently nominated as Australian Junior Cyclist of the year which indicates the depth of local talent.

There is real momentum and support there and we believe it’s the right time to harness that energy and bring the ACA’s women’s team program to life on the Sunshine Coast,” Ben said.

TheACA has recently launched an Australian Sports Foundation campaign to support the proposed women’s team launch where supporters or businesses can make a fully tax-deductible donation.

“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 to successfully launch the women’s program. After successfully launching the men’s team this year, introducing a women’s team is now our main priority and we are working tirelessly on finding that sponsorship support,” Ben said.

Securing the necessary funding would secure a women’s team of 6 – 8 talented development level cyclists who will ride as the Women’s Sunshine Coast team on the National Road Series (NRS) across Australia.

“As a member of the ACA team, each athlete will be provided with a comprehensive development plan. They will live locally and train out of the team’s University of the Sunshine Coast base and have access to the University’s acclaimed high-performance training facilities.”

“Riders also receive a guaranteed offer of study at the University which is part of the team’s ethos of ‘Live, Learn, Ride’ where all riders are encouraged and provided opportunities in further study or education,” Ben added.

To contact the Australian Cycling Academy more information, please email: info@aca-cycling.cc

For more information or to make a donation through the Australian Sports Foundation, please use the below links:

Project URL: https://asf.org.au/projects/australian-cycling-academy/campaign-to-launch-a-pro-racing-sunshine-coast-womens-team-in-2019/

Donation URL: https://asf.org.au/donate/australian-cycling-academy/campaign-to-launch-a-pro-racing-sunshine-coast-womens-team-in-2019/


Our day at the 2018 Tour of Okinawa

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

In the car and behind the scenes with the team at the 2018 Tour of Okinawa. Production @kokomaru0

Up Next: Tour of Fuzhou

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

The last race of the year is here: Tour of Fuzhou, China

After a huge first season for ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast, our last official team race of the year is now here.

The UCI Tour of Fuzhou, China, gets underway on Wednesday 14thNovember with a 110km road race, and concludes on Sunday 18thNovember.

The six-stage tour features a mix of tough mountainous and sprint stages, with the 2.1 UCI categorisation meaning we will be up against some of the best Continental teams from Europe and Asia.

Freddy Ovett is expected to perform well on the mountain stages following his strong second place in the 210km Tour de Okinawa in Japan this week.

Toby Orchard will be the team’s go-to sprinter, and will be supported by teammates Jono Nobles, Ashley Mackay and Amarni Drake.

For race updates follow us on Instagram from tomorrow.

It has been a huge inaugural year for the Australian Cycling Academy; 11 months, 48 events, 10 countries, 53 wins, 94 podiums and a whole lot of hard work has got us to this point.

We are looking forward to an even bigger 2019, and our first racing gets underway on 1stJanuary 2019.

Freddy Ovett Claims Second at Tour de Okinawa

Sunday, 11 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Freddy Ovett has taken a huge second place at the Tour de Okinawa in Japan today.

Ovett, 24, finished second after a gruelling 210km race where he spent most of the day in the breakaway.

In searing hot conditions, the racing was on from the gun. Ovett broke away solo at the 20km mark, before a group of nine riders joined him 10km later.

Ovett and the breakaway managed to stay away from the main peloton over the brutal and mountainous course until 25km to go, when Ovett and three others broke away.

In the final sprint to the line Ovett claimed second behind the Italian Vini Fantini rider, Alan Marangoni. Marangoni is a seven-time Grand Tour rider, and riding in his last professional race at Okinawa.

It is Ovett’s first race back with the team after a three-month stint with BMC Pro Racing team.

ACA’s Managing Director, Ben Kersten, said the team is thrilled with Freddy’s form today.

“It was just a fantastic effort from Freddy today,” said Kersten.

“It was a long, hot day here and he was out the front for pretty much the whole 210kms,” he said.

“In the end he was second behind a super strong Alan Maragoni, but we couldn’t be happier with his ride and his form is obviously spot on going in to the Tour of Fuzhou in China next week.”

Ovett is a Sunshine Coast local and the son of former Olympic marathon gold medallist, Steve Ovett. He currently splits his time between the Sunshine Coast and Girona, Spain.

Sunshine Coast local, Alastair Mackellar, 16, also claimed second place in the U19 men’s race, in what was his first international trip with the team.

The Tour de Okinawa is a UCI professional one-day road race featuring many of the best teams from around Asia and Europe, held on the tropical Japanese Island of Okinawa. It is the longest one-day race in Japan.

The team will be back in action again this week on Thursday at the tour of Fuzhou in China.

Up Next: Tour de Okinawa

Friday, 9 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Freddy Ovett is set to return for ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast this weekend when the team returns to Japan for racing.

Fresh off a three-month stint with BMC Pro Racing team, Ovett is looking to make his mark during the team’s upcoming block of racing in Asia.

First up for the Ovett and the team is the Tour de Okinawa this Sunday. This is followed by the UCI 2.1 Tour of Fuzhou in China next week.

Ovett left the ACA team following Tour de Qinghai Lake in August when he was offered a prestigious stagiaire opportunity with BMC Pro Team, the team of fellow Australians Simon Gerrans and Richie Porte.

He has since ridden with the BMC team at a number of high profile races, including the Tour of Utah and the Japan Cup.

The Tour of Okinawa is a one-day 210km road race on the tropical island of Okinawa, 1500km south of mainland Japan.

A seven-person team will represent ACA at Okinawa, including Toby Orchard, Jono Nobles, Ashley Mackay, Amarni Drake.

ACA will also field their two youngest riders in the race, with local sixteen-year old Alastair Mackellar, and eighteen-year old Alexandra Martin-Wallace making their first international trip with the team. Both will compete in the 130km junior road race.

The team returns to Asia following a successful return to their Sunshine Coast home base where rider Sam Welsford won the Australian Open Criterium at last weekend’s Noosa Triathlon.

Sam Welsford Claims Big Victory in Australian Open Noosa Criterium

Tuesday, 6 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Sam Welsford's remarkable year on the bike has continued with the ACA cyclist adding the men's Australian Open Criterium title to his long list of achievements.

The Commonwealth Games gold medalist stormed to the finish in an intense sprint on Saturday just ahead of Kaden Groves and Ayden Toovey to take out the coveted Noosa title.

It was a particularly special victory for Welsford, who not only debuted in the race, but earned the honours for the Sunshine Coast-based Australian Cycling Academy team.

"It was a really hard race and I had to go very early in the sprint because they were coming at me and I just held on to the finish," Welsford said.

"Those last few pedal strokes were pretty excruciating but I was pretty happy to throw my hands in the air for the local race.

"It was really awesome to get the home crowd behind the home team and that atmosphere is just insane and I loved it."

The result was yet another title to his name, after he won both the men's omnium and scratch race titles at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships last month.

Earlier in the year, Welsford was part of Australia's world-record breaking pursuit team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and he also captured another gold there in the scratch race.

The 22-year-old said he would now shift his focus back to the track as he prepared for the third stop in the six-race UCI World Cup Series in Berlin later this month.

He relished the Noosa success and believed it was a timely boost heading into the Australian camp.

"It's a good form check, we've been training so well but we haven't really hit our big track camp phase yet leading into the world cup so I think it gives you a bit of confidence leading into the next phase that you have a good race behind you and that you're riding well," he said.

ACA also had Cameron Scott, Jono Nobles, Ashley Mackay, Amarni Drake and Alastair Mackellar riding in the race.

Earlier in the women's race, Alex Martin-Wallace also claimed third place for ACA for the second consecutive year.

Image courtesy of @ Barry Alsop, Eyes Wide Open Images



Friday, 2 November 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Top local Sunshine Coast sprinters, Sam Welsford and Cameron Scott, are the ones to watch in the Noosa Multisport Festival’s Criterium this weekend.

Scott and Welsford, both under 23 development riders for the Australian Cycling Academy-Ride Sunshine Coast team, have made a name for themselves after huge 2018 seasons.

20-year old Scott is fresh off a second place in the recent Japan Cup Criterium, where he finished just behind Paris-Roubaix winner and Tour de France rider John Degenkolb of Trek Segafredo.

Scott is also the reining U23 National Criterium title holder and took out a stage in the prestigious Tour of Qinghai Lake in August.

Welsford, 21, was part of the Gold medal winning team pursuit team at April’s Commonwealth Games, where they also claimed the World Record. He also took out Gold in the individual scratch race and is one of Australia’s most promising young cyclists.

ACA Managing Director, Ben Kersten, said the boys were heading to Noosa to win.

“Both Sam and Cameron have had huge seasons this year, and they are here to win” he said.

“They have a great team riding with them to help them out and we have faith that we can take the win tomorrow,” he said.

ACA will field an 8-person strong team at the race with Scott and Welsford being supported by local riders Jono Nobles, Ashley Mackay, Amarni Drake, Alastair Mackellar. Alex Martin-Wallace will line up in the women’s race.

A star studded Australian and International field will contest the criterium, a 45 minute ‘hot dog’ circuit along Noosa Parade. The men’s race kicks off at 3.45pm, and the women’s race at 2.30pm.

Cameron Scott Claims Huge Second Place in Japan Cup Criterium

Monday, 22 October 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Cameron Scott has taken one of the biggest podiums of his career, with a second place in the UCI Hors class Japan Cup Criterium on Saturday.

The 22-year old Scott, who rides for the Sunshine Coast based Australian Cycling Academy, was narrowly beaten in the final sprint by John Degenkolb of Trek Segafredo. Degenkolb is a previously winner of the prestigious Paris Roubaix, and Milan-San Remo.

The 2018 edition of the Japan Cup criterium covered fifteen laps of a short two and a quarter kilometre circuit in downtown Utsunomiya just north of Tokyo, the location of the 1990 World Championships.

As expected attacks sprung from the start, however none gained much of an advantage over a peloton and it was no surprise when the bunch went into the last lap compact and travelling at high speed.

Scott held on across the line for second place, behind the esteemed Degenkolb. Scott’s ACA teammate, Sam Welsford, also finished in seventh place.

It is a huge win for the young Australian rider, whose wins in the 2018 season include the National U23 Criterium title, and stage 5 of the UCI Tour of Qinghai Lake.

ACA fielded a six-man team at the event, including Scott, Welsford, Michael Potter, Toby Orchard, Jono Nobles and Ashley Mackay.

Team ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast was up against some of the top-level World Tour professional teams in the event, including Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott, BMC, Trek Segafredo and Lotto.

The team will return to the Sunshine Coast this week for a training block, before heading back to Japan in mid-November.

Up Next: Oita Classic, Japan

Friday, 12 October 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

We are off and racing in our next block of Asian races this weekend, beginning with the Oita Cycle Classic in Japan tomorrow.

The two-day race begins with a criterium on Saturday 13th of October, followed by a road race on Sunday the 14th.

Oita will be followed by the two-day Japan Cup on the 20th and 21st of October.

We are fielding a strong 5-man team for both races, with Sam Welsford an excellent chance coming off very impressive form in this week's Oceania track titles.

Also lining up for ACA in Japan are Michael Potter, Toby Orchard, Jono Nobles and Ashley Mackay.

Follow us on Instagram for updates and results.

Live streaming for the Japan Cup will be available here.

Announcing our new Live Learn Ride Student athlete program

Thursday, 11 October 2018 posted by Sally Prowd

Want to become a part of the Australian Cycling Academy? The ACA is expanding in 2019, to include a new development team for student athletes from Australia and around the world.

The ACA’s specialised High-Performance Student Athlete Program is a tailored, for-fee development program providing a platform for domestic and international young female and male cyclists to further their cycling careers whilst living and studying on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

As part of this new program, a new team, the Live, Learn, Ride NRS Team, will comprise athletes who have applied and been accepted in to our program to live on the Sunshine Coast, learn and the University of the Sunshine Coast, and ride the National Road Series. The LLR HP program riders will race a different schedule than our existing UCI Conti Pro Sunshine Coast team.

This exciting new initiative provides talented young cyclists access to a fully comprehensive cycling development plan. This customised plan is developed and supported by our world class coaches with access to the internationally respected University of the Sunshine Coast High Performance Sport Unit who support our athletes with specialist coaches, sports medicines expertise and access to outstanding training facilities all located within an idyllic climate for high performance athlete development.

Most importantly, our philosophy is underpinned by our academy philosophy of "Live, Learn, Ride". Our students receive a guaranteed offer of a study placement at the University of the Sunshine Coast with specialist support to assist students to find the right choice of course and delivery mode to support their holistic development needs.

Academy students will live and train with our UCI Continental Pro Team riders and benefit from racing exposure through Cycling Australia’s elite National Road Series. Selected athletes may have access to international race competition through our UCI Pro Team subject to individual rider performance.

This paid program is available to approved applicants only and places are very limited.

The Live Learn Ride High Performance Program is now open for applications. Visit aca-cycling.cc/livelearnride for details.


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