Aussies give direction to cyclists
A mentoring exercise by an Australian cycling team ahead of the New Zealand Cycle Classic was all in a day's ride for Satalyst Giant.
But for two up-and-coming Palmerston North Boys' High School teams, a ride-along ahead of tomorrow's opening stage was an opportunity not to be missed.
Satalyst Giant captain Pat Shaw said developing young cyclists in Australasia was one of the team's prime goals.
"We are always excited to do things that develop youth," he said. "It's important to us to give back to the local community that put on a terrific race which we support fully."
Shaw said the team would talk to the boys about immediate steps to take in pursuing their goals in cycling, keeping a normal life when going professional, "but most importantly the enjoyment factor of cycling".
Former professional cyclist Brett Tivers set up the meet and greet for the students as part of his ambition to create better networking for young cyclists in the city.
"My role in Palmerston North is to provide the high school kids direction with their cycling," he said. "It's a great opportunity to get a ride with these guys and see what they do in preparation for a tour, see what a tour actually involves and get noticed from an early age."
Tivers said many of these boys had the potential to be in professional racing teams in the coming years and "if they get to know them now it makes transitioning easier".
Carne Groube, 15, said the mentoring was good for advice and knowledge "to hear their past experiences and how they get to the level they're at".
Robert Stannard, also 15, said it was important for him and his peers to see how the professionals ride.
"Some day we want to be riding at their level so we're learning - they're giving us tips," he said.