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New stars and team name for 2020

Friday, 13 December 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

New stars, major corporate partner and team name for Australian Cycling Academy in 2020

We have announced a fresh new line up of cycling talent and new presenting partner for the 2020 season at today's season launch. 

Following the signing of new presenting partner, the ARA Group, the men’s and women’s teams will race as ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast from 2020.

ACA Managing Director, Ben Kersten, said the partnership with the ARA Group is a huge boost to the program.

“We are thrilled to announce a 3 year presenting partnership with the ARA Group. The ARA Group is an incredible employee owned and operated organisation with over 2000 staff across Australia and New Zealand which specialises in building and property services.

“We are ecstatic to have such a large and reputable corporate partner with us to continue the success of the work we have achieved over the past few years. The ARA Group shares many closely aligned values to the ACA including hard work, community, education and sustainability which makes them a perfect fit for our team.

“This partnership and the launch of the ARA | Pro Racing Sunshine Coast Team Men’s and Women’s team, is a major step forward in the progression of the ACA program. The roster for both teams will be bolstered significantly with an increased focus on road competition while still holding true to our founding principals of the “Live, Learn, Ride” culture.

“This has been a core focus of our team since we commenced and we are immensely proud that 12 athletes now live and train on the Sunshine Coast with 9 studying right here at the USC,” Ben said.

Managing Director ARA Products Stuart Harmer said “We were initially drawn to the Australian Cycling Academy (ACA) and the team’s ‘live, learn, ride’ philosophy. The ARA Group has over 2,000 employees and we are embarking on programs to help our staff make healthier lifestyle choices. Encouraging more of our staff to move on two wheels is an excellent way of reaching that goal and next year we will launch an inaugural two-day ARA Charity Cycle to raise funds for the ARA Endowment Fund. We are very excited to be naming sponsors of the new ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team and look forward to our combined success.”

The women’s team is expanding with the signing of an additional 3 riders and the men’s team has been bolstered by the signing of some of the best young talent in the country.

Key signings include National U23 Time Trial Champion, Liam Magennis, NRS winner Ryan Thomas, and experienced Pro-Continental rider Michael Rice, who joins the team following a stint with one of the world’s top development team’s in the USA. Rice is also the brother of Matt Rice, who gained several big wins with PRSC in 2019 and will continue with the team in 2020.

The team has also announced the re-signing of Michael Freiberg, who won the National Road Race title in his first race with Pro Racing Sunshine Coast in January.

Alistair Donohoe, who was a breakout star during the Herald Sun Tour and won several World Championship titles at the World Para-Cycling Championships this year, will also return in 2020.

The current track national riders who ride for the team will sit out racing for most of the year with their focus firmly on 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold but will still act as members and ambassadors of the team during 2020.

Ben said the ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast men’s team looks really exciting on paper for 2020 with the signing of National U23 Time Trail Champion Liam Magennis, team captain Michael Rice, Ryan Thomas, the re-signing of National Champion Michael Freiberg and sprint star Matt Rice.

“This is a team that can compete across any terrain. The program will continue to combine a focus on selected national and international UCI races across Australasia and the USA as well the domestic National Racing series (NRS)."

"The ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast women’s team will feature new team riders in Anya Louw and rising Sunshine Coast star Maddy Lambooy, as well as continuing with 4 of the Cycling Australia Podium potential academy athletes which include local sports star Alex Martin-Wallace who will head the team. They will be targeting various NRS competitions around Australia,” Ben said.

The Australian Cycling Academy is a Sunshine Coast based Continental development cycling team, racing as ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, and supported by principal partners University of the Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Council, and based at the University of the Sunshine Coast.


Men’s Team

Michael Freiberg

Alistair Donohoe

Michael Potter

Liam Magennis

Michael Rice

Ryan Thomas

Matt Rice

Taj Jones

Alastair MacKellar

Zack Gilmore

Ashley Mackay

Amarni Drake

Sebastian Barret

Daniel De Domenico

Women’s Team

Anya Louw

Maddy Lambooy

Alexandra Martin-Wallace

Sophie Edwards

Sam de Riter

Ruby Rose-Gannon

Mauve Plouffe


Up Next: Sam Miranda's Tour of the King Valley

Friday, 11 October 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast are looking to continue their winning form at the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley this weekend.

The Tour, in Victoria's King Valley, is the next up in the National Road Series calendar. It follows the Tour of the Great South Coast, won by PRSC rider Kell O'Brien.

The Tour begins on Friday 11 October with a kermesse circuit style race of 90 minutes plus 3 laps, around the Winton Raceway, Winton.

The second and final stage will be a 164km road race on Saturday 12 October that starts and finishes at the Sam Miranda Winery, near Wangaratta. 

The team will field a 7-man squad for the Tour, including Matt Rice, Taj Jones, Jono Noble, Ashley Mackay, Kai Chapman, Alastair Mackellar and Amarni Gates. 

The race will be live streamed on the NRS Facebook page and via Kayo Sports from 11am Friday 11 October (AEDT). 

Michael Freiberg confirmed for Fast Track criterium at Big Kart Track

Thursday, 10 October 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Current National road champion Michael Freiberg has been confirmed for round two of the Fast Track Criterium series. 

Freiberg will line up for the race on Thursday 31st October, at the Sunshine Coast's Big Kart Track. 

Freiberg was crowned National road champion in January this year in the most memorable of styles when he snatched victory in the final kilometre from Cameron Meyer.

In a second boon for the event,  current Pro Tour rider Kaden Groves has also been confirmed to start. Groves, who grew up in Gympie just beyond the Sunshine Coast, now rides for Mitchelton-Scott in Europe. 

The Fast Track Criterium series is an initiative of the ACA, held on Australia's largest kart track under lights, with a party-style atmosphere.

Alongside the men's and women's elite events will be masters, categories A, B & C, under 19s, plus a fixie event. 

Held on the eve of the Noosa Triathlon, it's a great family friendly event with live DJs, commentary, food stalls, licensed bar by local brewery Boiling Pot and a kids track for the young ones to ride. 

To enter the event click here.


Up Next: Tour of the Great South Coast

Thursday, 22 August 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Following on from our successful Tour of the Tweed earlier this month, next up in the National Road Series calendar is the Tour of the Great South Coast. 

The 8-stage tour from Mount Gambier, South Australia, to Portland, Victoria, begins on Tuesday 27 August and finishes on Sunday 2 September.

The tour includes a mix of road races, criteriums and a team time trial. 

We are sending a strong team to the tour, including our five riders who are also in the National track program. It will be the first race back in Australia for our track guys following their two month racing program in Europe earlier this year, and one of their last road races ahead of their preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics. 


Stage 1 - Mount Gambier criterium, 36km (Tuesday 27 August)

Stage 2 - Mount Gambier road race, 65km

Stage 3 - Port MacDonnell road race, 128.5km 

Stage 4 - Naracoorte Lucindale criterium, 31.5km

Stage 5 - Naracoorte team time trial, 16km

Stage 6 - Casterton to Heywood road race, 93km

Stage 7 - Cape Bridgewater road race, 121.4km

Stage 8 - Portland criterium, 48km (Sunday 2 September) 

ACA Team for Tour of Great South Coast

Leigh Howard

Sam Welsford

Kelland O'Brien

Cameron Scott

Alex Porter 

Jono Noble

Zack Gilmore

Follow us on Instagram for race updates and results. 

That's a wrap on Europe and North America

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

It's been a huge two months at ACA, with the men's team racing in both Europe and North America, and the women's team also heading to Europe for the first time.

We landed in the US in early June for 4 weeks of racing, and headed straight into the Tour of America's Dairyland. After 11 long days of racing and several podium finishes for the team, Matt Rice was crowned the overall winner of the Tour. It was the first international race for Rice, who joined the team at the beginning of this year, having just finished high school last year. The team then moved on to Canada for two weeks of racing at BCC Super Week.

The second squad landed in Europe late May for an 8 week block of racing through Belgium and The Netherlands, with back to back one day kermesse style races throughout the two months. We landed several podiums to Michael Freiberg, Sam Welsford, Cam Scott and Kell O'Brien throughout the racing, which has given our guys invaluable experience racing against some of the best young riders in Europe.

Leigh Howard hot favourite for Big Kart Track criterium sprint series

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Tour de France cyclist and world champion Leigh Howard has arrived on the Sunshine Coast ahead of our inaugural Fast Track Big Kart criterium series.

Howard will be the hot favourite for tomorrow night's event (Thursday 18 July), a fast circuit style race around the iconic Sunshine Coast race track.

Howard has returned to the Sunshine Coast this week direct from riding with the Pro Racing Sunshine Coast squad in our European block of racing. Following the weekend's racing, he will commence a local training camp as part of his preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Entries are still open for the Big Kart criterium, with both male and female elite, masters and junior categories. Huge cash prizes are up for grabs, with a $2,500 prize pool per round of the two-series event.

Pro Racing Sunshine Coast Managing Director, Ben Kersten, said it will be a great event for the entire family.

"I rode the track recently and it was an exciting experience; it's seriously one of the best criterium circuits I have ridden across the world. It's a great chance for spectators and fans of the sport to watch a seriously talented cyclist in action too, with our own Leigh Howard now confirmed to race.

"The event has been designed to be all about the experience for riders and spectators. It will be all under lights and the whole race can be viewed from the decks overlooking the circuit, or bring a picnic rug and sit on the grassy hill. We will also have food stalls, licenced bar by local brewery Boiling Pot, live music and commentary. 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.

Gates open at 5pm, Big Kart Track, Landsborough Sunshine Coast. 

To enter to race, visit here.


Cam Scott places second in Melle Pro Kermese

Friday, 12 July 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Cameron Scott has claimed second place in the Melle Pro Kermesse in Belgium.

Scott was narrowly beaten in the 156km race in the final lunge for the line by Michael Van Staeyen of the Roompot-Charles Cycling team.

It is an excellent result for Scott, who has been in strong form throughout the team's two month European block of racing. 

Michael Freiberg was instrumental in Scott's podium finish, having rode the front of the peloton to bring the break back in the final kilometres.

It was then Freiberg who led Scott out in the bunch sprint for the line. 

Kelland O'Brien also worked together with Freiberg to set Scott up in the final sprint, and himself placed in the top 20 overall.

Sports Director, Stuart Shaw, said the team worked phenomenally well together throughout the long day.

"It was a great team ride, and a great ride for Michael Freiberg particularly who rode back the break in the final 10km, and then also went on to do the lead out for Cam Scott," Shaw said.

"Cam is in super, super form, and the boys are getting closer every race to a victory. In the last week we've had a fourth place to Freiberg and now second to Cam, a victory won't be far off," he said.

The team, which also includes Michael Potter, Alistair Donohoe, Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard and Alex Porter, now move on to the Ninove race in Belgium on 18 July.

Matt Rice wins Tour of America's Dairyland overall

Wednesday, 3 July 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Matt Rice has taken out the overall classification at the Tour of America's Dairylands in the US this week.

Rice placed second in several of the stages throughout the week, and won the overall classification by just one point on the final stage. 

It is the first international win for the 19-year-old rider, who joined Pro Racing Sunshine Coast at the start of 2019. 

The young rider, who hails from Canberra, relocated to the Sunshine Coast to ride for the team at the beginning of this year and began studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 

The Tour of America's Dairylands is an 11 day tour throughout the US state of Wisconsin. Rice's PRSC teammate, Taj Jones, also picked up a stage win on day 5 of the tour.

PRSC Managing Director, Ben Kersten, said it was a huge result for Rice in one of his first races for the team.

"It's been an absolutely huge first two weeks over here for us, and for Matt to win the way he did by fighting right until the end of the final stage shows just how much promise he has as a bike rider."

"He will gain so much confidence and momentum from this win, especially going in to BC Superweek next week where they will be up against even more top professionals."

"The team have all been outstanding over here and we're really proud of the commitment and dedication they've shown to arrive here in such great form. The guys are all really young, from 17 to 23, which makes it even more impressive. They really worked hard for this win, working together as a team all week, and they deserve every bit of it. They have also all learnt so much and that's what we're here for, at the end of the day," Kersten said. 

The Tour of America's Dairylands is the first race in a month-long block of racing for the team, who now move on to Canada's BC Superweek, one of the most prestigious cycling events in North America. It is also one of the richest, with $140k Canadian dollars in prize money on offer. 

With 9 races over 10 days, BC Superweek gets underway in Vancouver on 5 July. 

Matt Rice leads Tour of America's Dairyland after team secures 5 podiums from 6 starts in USA

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

The Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team have had a flying start to their racing block in North America, with 5 podiums from 6 starts in the first week of racing. 

The highlight included a stunning win from Taj Jones in day 5 of the Tour of America's Dairyland yesterday, where he overcame horrendous conditions including torrential rain and lightning in the final laps to take victory. Teammates Matt Rice and Zack Gilmore also placed in 4th and 5th positions.

Matt Rice has collected a string of second place podiums throughout the week, and now leads the tour overall after day six, while Jones sits with 4th place overall. 

The Tour of America's Dairyland is an eleven day race with individual criteriums each day throughout the US state of Wisconsin. 

In Europe the team's squad has finished the UCI ZLM Tour, with the best overall place to Cameron Scott who finished 6th on the final stage in the Netherlands this week.

The European team will now head on to the UCI 1.1 Halle Ingooigem, a 200km one day race in Belgium on Wednesday 26th June (EU time). 

Follow us on Instagram for race updates for both our European and US racing this week. 

Up Next: ZLM Tour, Netherlands

Thursday, 20 June 2019 posted by Sally Prowd

Up Next: ZLM Tour, Netherlands

The biggest challenge of our 2019 European racing block is underway, with Stage 1 of the ZLM Tour today in the Netherlands. The tour began with a prologue on 19 June (EU time), and continues today with the first of 4 road stages.

Several WorldTour teams consider the ZLM Tour as the ideal preparation for the flat Tour de France stages, and teams in the 2019 edition include Lotto-Soudal, Team Jumbo-Visma, Team Sunweb and Team Katusha-Alpecin. 

Kell O'Brien is second placed in the Young Rider's classification after the prologue, with just a half a second between him and the current leader. 

The race will be live streamed daily via the ZLM Tour Facebook page.

Lineup PRSC

Michael Freiberg, Leigh Howard, Sam Welsford, Cameron Scott, Kell O'Brien, Alistair Donohoe and Alex Porter. 


Prologue Wednesday 19 June: Yerseke (6.8 km)

Stage 1 Thursday 20 June: Bredene – Heinkenszand (197.9 km)

Stage 2 Friday 21 June: Etten-Leur – Buchten (168.1 km)

Stage 3 Saturday 22 June: Buchten – Landgraaf (171.4 km)

Stage 4 Sunday 23 June: Eindhoven – Tilburg (170.1 km)

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