A dominant first half of the season with numerous stage victories and overall wins at the Tour De Perth, Battle of The Border and Tour of Toowomba see the team top the national rankings in both the team and individual competitions. With the departure of Jack Haig to the World Tour Academy and Joe Cooper still recovering from a broken pelvis sustained at the Tour of Toowomba the team will look to it’s other talent to take the bull by the horns for the upcoming Tour of Murray River.
“Spoilt for choice” is the term that comes to mind with the Murray River squad spearheaded by standout sprinter Brenton Jones, winner of the Jayco Bay Series and more recently two stages at the Tour of Singkarak in Indonesia. Add in Neil Van Der Ploeg fresh off a solid Tour of Korea, stalwart sprinter and lead out man Anthony Giacoppo, National scratch race champion Scott Law and the dangerously talented Jack Beckinsale and you have numerous options for stage wins and the overall. Backed by the experienced lead out train of Tom Robinson, Mitch Lovelock-Fay and Aaron Donnelly and you have a team that on paper at least, should be hard to beat. Team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston is cautious but optimistic about the teams chances
“This race isn’t easy to win but we are quietly confident that we can get the job done” he said. “Losing Joe through injury is tough and with Budget keen to get some more runs on the board we know we won’t have it all our own way. We’ll approach it the same way we always do and just let our legs and results do the talking.”
The rest of the team will get their chance with the tours of Gippsland and the Great South Coast still to come while the pinnacle of the national series, The Tour of Tasmania will be the icing on the cake and if everything goes to plan should see the team with an unassailable lead in the series which should allow some freedom to go all out for the win in the two one day classics, Grafton to Inverell and the iconic Melbourne to Warnambool.