In the face of tough economic times, and with a depressing focus more on gloom and doom than beds of roses, it was hugely satisfying earlier this evening to find a group of like-minded, determined individuals who were about to embark on an exciting sporting journey... a journey that would not only showcase outstanding products and performance, but also bring to public attention, a highly motivated band of young riders ready to take on the best in the land.
The occasion was the launch of the newly-created Pensar-Hawk Racing, a team of elite and up-and-coming stars of Queensland cycling, who are set to create a big impact not only in the men’s and women’s National Road Series for 2012 but also in most of the major road races across the State and beyond, including up-coming Queensland Road Teams Series.
Pensar has been involved with the local racing community for approximately 5 years through their relationship with the University Cycling Club and the local race team, Forty Winks-Pensar.
This year, however, will see Pensar form an even greater relationship with 27:28 Racing (which raced during 2011 as the highly successful Tineli Team) and partner with Hawk Racing to become Pensar-Hawk Racing.
Apart from the co-naming sponsors, Pensar and Hawk Racing, other companies contributing towards the success of the new team include Valvoline, DiBella Coffee, SIS, Stark Creations (website and graphics support) and Commex Concepts (team signage) while additional support and minor sponsorships have been received from Henk Vogels Perfomance Training (coaching and team mentoring), SRAM, Metallon and Tenerife-Chiro.
Tineli has remained the team uniform supplier in 2012, while the Elite A men will be riding Unovelo team bikes supplied through Hawk Racing.
Female team leader, Kirsty Broun, told CSN that she was very excited about the year ahead.
“This is a fantastic group of girls and we all get along really well. We’re hoping for a good year. It’s a development year for Pensar-Hawk Racing, so we’re hoping we really gel and go on to form a good base for 2013.
We have some fantastic potential in our team, so I just want to nurture that and guide the girls into a winning position as the year progresses, and to basically get them to be the best they can be in the sport.
I’m pretty happy with the way things are going with my own form, but I also want to take a backward step and really focus on developing this team to possibly be the best in Australia..
Joining Kirsty in the new Pensar-Hawk Racing female line-up will be Zoe Watters, Jodie Willett (2009 Queensland Road Cyclist of the year), Samantha Hemsley, Katrin Garfoot, Nicole Moerig and the sensational Ruth Corset, winner of the 2010 Women’s National Road Race Championship.
Ruth had been hiding away up in north Queensland, but apparently jumped at the opportunity when given the chance to ride for Pensar-Hawk Racing.
Her inclusion is a massive coup for Dave and Ian and their team, and will give the ladies roster a huge injection of talent and experience.
Ex-pat Tom Collier will be taking over the reigns as team leader of the Elite Men’s squad, a position which he confesses will be quite a challenging one.
“It a fantastic new look, new sponsors and new riders for 2012. With Peter Thompson moving on and signing professionally with Drapac Porsche we’re all pretty chuffed about this, and it’s working out well for him, but it means there are other opportunities for other riders now, to come through and have a chance at the wins.
Last year, maybe some of the tactics were dominated by everyone wanting to do everything for Pete, and this year, hopefully, we can let other guys have a go at tasting a little fame and glory.
Being captain is great, and if I can do as good a job as Chris did last year, I’ll be pretty happy.
Look, I’ll be realistic. I had four really big race wins last year, and it will be hard to achieve that in the same way, but if I can help some other guys do that I will be over the moon.
I get satisfaction out of seeing others do really well. And hopefully I can mentor some of the younger guys. For me that’s my role as a captain really, as well as pulling some hard turns on the front.”
The Elite Men’s roster for Pensar-Hawk Racing will include: Thomas Collier (Eng), Joel Lewis, Hadleigh Milligan,Terence Maguire, Dane Macky, Maxime Ruphy (Fr), Jarred Rowney, Ryan Quade, Peter Spencer, Todd Milner, Sam Stow, Toby Hood, Christopher Klem and Matthew Hodges.
Cycling Queensland’s Mike Victor was one of the special guests at tonight’s launch, and gave everyone an insight into the Queensland Road Teams Series and the Tour of Toowoomba, both of which had been “toughened up” for 2012.
There was also an announcement on the night that Jeff Montague had been appointed Manager to oversee the Masters division of the Pensar-Hawk Racing team for 2012.
Henk Vogels, who has spent the last three years with the V Australia racing team, will now assist in mentoring team management and the riders, and managed to give MC Luke Lucas a much appreciated thrill as they stood together talking about the team’s future direction.
“This is just as good as standing here interviewing Lance Armstrong” Luke exclaimed, and the comment sent a quiet chuckle around the guests.
The sense of excitement, anticipation and expectation, and the whole reason why everyone had gathered to see Pensar-Hawk Racing launched into the world of cycling so magnificently, was best summed up by this modest response from Nic Arney from Hawk Racing:
“We were blown away by watching you guys in the last few races of 2011.. not only by the culture on the field, but also by the support that was provided for you guys back in the camp, and we wanted to share in this experience.This is going to be an amazing year for Pensar-Hawk Racing. Thanks for letting us be part of it”.