Young Kiwi joins Belgium-based cycling team

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012
Hayden McCormick
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ
TOP TEAM: Rising Waikato cyclist Hayden McCormick has become the youngest rider to sign a deal with the highly-rated Lotto-Belisol team.

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Rising Waikato cyclist Hayden McCormick has become the youngest rider to sign a deal with the highly-rated Lotto-Belisol team.

The 18-year-old will next season join the under-23 squad for the Belgium-based team, whose top lineup features fellow Kiwi Greg Henderson and German sprint ace Andre Greipel.

"He'll have a full racing calendar for 2013 with the under-23 team," said Hayden's father, John McCormick.

"That will mean he can compete in classic events like the Paris-Roubaix race and the Tour of Flanders."

McCormick's form while competing in Belgium, Europe and the US this year with his DCM GB Vorselaar team quickly attracted the attention of professional teams keen to sieze on his potential as a road rider.

The Te Awamutu teen has won two UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) events this year - the Trophee Sebaco in Brittany, France, in June, and the three-stage Le Trophee Centre Morbihan title in April.

Those successes, and other podium finishes, attracted the talent scouts and a recommendation from another New Zealand professional, Hayden Roulston, helped him get representation from Cielo Sports, who look after stars like Levi Leipheimer, Tyler Farrar, Tom Boonen and Michael Rogers.

After offers from Garmin-Sharp and EPM-UNE, McCormick went with Lotto-Belisol, making him the youngest member of their team in history.

The former St John's College student is in Invercargill, preparing for New Zealand at the junior world track champs at the ILT velodrome from August 22-26.

He will then head to The Netherlands for the UCI junior road world champs men's road race over 129km next month.

John McCormick said Hayden's success also owed a great deal to the sponsorship support he received from Chris Grace at Te Rapa New World.

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