Aussie cycling fans have more reasons to cheer with the news that not one, not two, but – get this – another four Australians will be racing in the pro peloton next year.
Last night, Australia’s only WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour team, Team BikeExchange-Jayco, announced they’ve added two men and two women to their roster from 2023.
It’s the latest in a spate of Aussie contracts, following Nicole Frain’s and Anya Louw’s mid-season signings ahead of the Tour de France Femmes.
Here are the four cyclists from Down Under who’ve just learned they’ll be racing with BikeExchange-Jayco next year.
Young talent Alyssa Polites was part of the unlucky generation of cyclists who missed two years of racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Victorian has long been on the trajectory to the top level, having won multiple junior national titles on track and road, including last year’s under-19 road race and time trial championships.
Since stepping up to senior age, the 19-year-old has wasted no time. She impressed in Buninyong this January, when she won the under-23 road race national championship and placed third among the Elite field.
Polites is a member of the Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy and won a Track Nations Cup medal on debut for Australia earlier this year. She also raced with the national team in the Santos Festival of Cycling.
“Having already met and trained with some of the Aussie girls on the team, it’s a great introduction into the pro peloton for me,” Polites said in a team statement.
“I’m looking forward to contributing to the team’s success and getting to know how it’s done properly over in the Women’s WorldTour peloton.”
Amber Pate had a great chance to impress Team BikeExchange-Jayco this summer when she guest-rode for the squad during the Santos Festival of Cycling.
She’s converted that opportunity into a two-year contract, completing a successful switch from triathlon to cycling that began in 2020.
The 27-year-old South Australian has a big engine: she finished second (to the one-and-only Grace Brown) in this year’s time trial national championship before making her international track for Australia in May.
She may have entered the sport late, but, like Nicole Frain, Pate is making the most of every chance she’s earning.
“I am extremely proud and excited to be joining GreenEDGE cycling,” Pate said.
“My objective for the new season is to find my strengths and weaknesses in the professional peloton, establish myself further as a rider within the team, and build from there with the support of GreenEDGE.”
Blake Quick was arguably the standout young male rider of the Australian summer, so it’s no surprise he’s been picked up by Team BikeExchange-Jayco.
The Queenslander started 2022 with a dominant showing at the Bay Crits, winning both stages and the overall. He carried that form in to the AusCycling Road National Championships, winning the under-23 men’s road race in scintillating fashion.
The 22-year-old continued his breakout season with a stage victory at the Santos Festival of Cycling, confirming his credentials as one of Australia’s up-and-coming sprinters to watch.
Quick has likely been on selectors’ radars for a while – he won the 2018 Madison world championship alongside Luke Plapp – and now he’ll have the chance to go pro with an Australian team.
“It’s been a really big goal for a long time to turn professional at the top level and I’m super excited to join Team BikeExchange-Jayco,” Quick said in a team statement.
“I have big dreams and I couldn’t think of a better place for me to start my professional road career or with better people to chase those dreams. I very happy and cannot wait to start with the team next season.”
Rudy Porter will fulfil a childhood dream when he pulls on the Team BikeExchange-Jayco jersey in January.
The 21-year-old Victorian took his first big domestic win in 2021 when he conquered the Grafton to Inverell in the National Road Series (NRS).
Before that, Porter enjoyed his first taste of an international peloton when he rode for the Australian team in the 2019 and 2020 Herald Sun Tour and the 2020 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Known mainly for his climbing strength, last month Porter earned his first UCI podium in the green-and-gold colours at the under-23 Course de la Paix GP Jeseníky in the Czech Republic.
“One of my first cycling jerseys as a young kid was from GreenEDGE Cycling and to now be able to wear it as a professional rider on the team, it is incredible and I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet,” Porter said.
“I can’t wait to get started and learn from some of the best in the sport to continue my growth as a rider. I’d like to also say thanks to all who have supported me so far in my journey as I embark on a new chapter in my career with GreenEDGE!”
Along with Pate and Quick, Porter is one of the three new signings who have previously ridden in the NRS with InForm TMX Make.
Feature photo: Russ Ellis