Young cyclists selected for Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub

By Sports Media NZ Ltd

Fourteen teenage cyclists have been named to be part of the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub programme.

The Hub, launched in Auckland this week, is the fourth of a planned eight hubs by Cycling New Zealand to form a network around the country offering a pathway to the future success of high performance cycling in New Zealand.

It follows regional cycling performance hubs, sponsored nationally by Subway, established in Waikato-Bay of Plenty and Otago-Southland along with a national hub for Mountain Bike in Rotorua.
Head Coach of the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub, Shem Rodger, announced the first intake of riders to join the programme.

They are – Male: Liam Cappel (Counties Manukau), Hamish Ducat (Auckland), Oscar Elworthy (North Harbour), Harris Fogelberg (Auckland), Theo Gilbertson (Counties Manukau), Ben Hamilton (Counties Manukau), Josh Kench (Counties Manukau), Harry Waine (Counties Manukau), Aaron Wyllie (Counties Manukau).

Female: Georgia Danford (Auckland), Dayna Haythorne (North Harbour), Jenna Merrick (Counties Manukau), Stella Nightingale (Counties Manukau), Renee Young (North Harbour).

Wyllie and Waine, from Auckland Grammar and Takapuna Grammar respectively, are in the New Zealand track team that will compete in the Junior World Championships in Italy in August.
Fogelberg, Hamilton, and Ducat were in the successful Auckland Grammar cycling programme. Fogelberg is the current national schools road champion; Ducat was runner-up in the national schools time trial and won a stage of the Te Awamutu Tour and Hamilton won the Under-19 national road title recently.

Kench, from Takapuna Grammar, was runner-up in the Under-17 national road championship; Cappel (St Kentigern) and Gilbertson (Kings College) were members of the New Zealand under-19 team in Australia last year; while Elworthy (Takapuna Grammar) was runner-up to world champion Campbell Stewart in the Points Race at the national schools championship.

In the females, Danford (St Cuthberts) was runner-up in the national schools road race. Haythorne was the recently North Harbour Junior Tour and fellow Epsom Girls Grammar rider Nightingale was third in the Points at the national schools championship. Merrick (Baradene College) won the bronze medal as a first year under-19 rider at the national omnium championships and Young (Takapuna Grammar) was third in the U17 national criterium championships.

“Investing in development and performance pathways is a key to securing top talent and continuing to grow New Zealand’s performance outcomes on the world stage,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO, Andrew Matheson.

“The Cycling Performance Hubs have strong regional ties and connections with locally-based riders, coaches and local sponsors. To this degree we are indebted to Barfoot & Thompson for their support in making this project a reality.”

"We are proud to have the chance to help cultivate future stars of Cycling New Zealand, and we are excited to support our local talent in Auckland. We look forward to watching the development of these young people not only in Auckland, but also in New Zealand," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director, Barfoot & Thompson.

CAPTION: The Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub riders at the launch at St Heliers in Auckland.
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