Success at the Desaru Half Ironman

18 August 14: The race took place at the beach resort of Desaru a 90mins car trip from Singapore on the Eastern side on Malaysia. Being so close to the equator this race is renowned for being one of the hottest races on the planet but we were fairly lucky that we had cloudy conditions most of the swim and bike. With the water temperature at 27°c it was of course a non wetsuit swim. I took the lead from the gun and had my old training and racing mate Jamie Hunt on my feet, it was just like the old days when we raced as juniors on the circuit. We had had a sizeable lead coming out of the water and wanted to increase it even more on the 95km bike ride, the course was fairly flat and fast and apart from the odd monkey it was a great ride. I managed to lead off the bike to hold a 8min gap, the run course would be tough with the temps now in the 30's and the humidity in the 90's. The course reminded me of the Hawaii Ironman run with it's very own Pit (a out and back section with a steep nasty hill to run three times. I tried to run at a steady pace and just survive the course without hurting myself to much as I will be racing again this week in the Metaman Triathlon(3.8km, 180km, 42km) on the Island of Bintan in Indonesia, a 1hr ferry trip from Singapore. I managed to finish in just over 4:18hr to take 1st place. I now have a few days in Singapore to recover from yesterdays race and then head to Bintan on Wednesday.   READ MORE

Racing time again for Cameron Brown

14 August 14: My first race is this Saturday in the Desaru Half ironman, the race takes place only 90mins from Singapore by car but is in Malaysia. It's sure to be incredibly hot and after riding in 13°c yesterday with 4 layers of clothing on I'm glad to be leaving winter behind for two weeks. After the race I head back to Singapore for a few days before getting on a ferry to the Island of Bintan, Indonesia( a short 1hr ride) for the Metaman Triathlon which is a full long distance Triathlon of 3.8km, 180km and 42km. I was on a training camp there two years ago so I know the Island and course, again it will be a super hard race with the extreme conditions. Hopefully I can survive and try and win some of the prize money on offer which is over $140,000USD. READ MORE

The New Zealand Team's fleet of Avanti Bikes are heading to a New Home

07 August 14: With 30 Avanti Inc’s and Metros given to the New Zealand team to ride during their stay at the Glasgow Games Village, Avanti has been honoured to be able to show their support and commitment to the New Zealand Team.  Avanti and the New Zealand Olympic Committee would like to say ‘thank you’ to the host city Glasgow, not only did they host a wonderful Commonwealth Games but they also showed fantastic support to the Kiwi Team, and embraced the values of the Commonwealth Games Federation; Humanity, Equality and Destiny.    During the games the Avanti bikes have been whizzing around the 35 hectare village by the Kiwi athletes.  The New Zealand Team were proud to be the only team in the village with their own designated fleet of cycles!  But the time has now come for these bikes to find new homes. During the planning stages with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to have this fleet of Avanti bikes available at the Games village, Avanti was keen to ensure the 30 bikes, Volta helmets, locks and tools would be to be donated to a deserving charity in the region, when the 2014 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games came to a close.  Hence Avanti and the New Zealand Olympic Committee are delighted that The Bike Station have collected 30 Avanti bikes, Volta helmets, locks and tools.  The Bike Station is a Glasgow based charity who do amazing work in the local community promoting and encouraging mental and physical health through cycling, a philosophy that fits well with the values of Avanti Bikes. As CEO, Steve Paraskevas stated, “Here at Avanti Bikes we’re delighted to be able to assist the Glasgow Bike Station in the outstanding work they achieve.  The charity shares a similar ideology to us; we’d love to see everyone – from wee adventure-seekers to tea and scone-makers, Sunday coffee cruisers to medal-chasing racers, all sharing in our passion for cycling and letting loose on a bike.  The process behind our Avanti Design Technology means every bike in our range is crafted with the rider’s purpose and enjoyment in mind, and are built to be taken on a journey.  And what better place for this journey to start than with our kids, so we support local bike clubs in an effort to make cycling accessible to all. We believe in the freedom and enjoyment that cycling brings and are honoured to be able to share this with riders across the globe”. The Managing Director of The Bike Station, Gregory Chauvet, is delighted to be receiving these bikes and explains what the plans for the new Avanti fleet are.  “We are very honoured to be receiving this kind donation from the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Avanti Cycles. It will be a huge boost in helping us deliver our services to the people of Glasgow. Some of the bikes will be used to provide cycle training sessions that encourage the Glasgow public to get around by bike and we also plan on selling some in a charity auction. All funds raised will go towards promoting cycling in our local community and making it more accessible for everyone. This includes our work with nurseries and schools and our Bike Swap scheme, which gives children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to upgrade their old bikes for free. By getting children engaged with cycling from as young an age as possible, regardless of their circumstances, we hope to create a future generation of cyclists. This will be our Glasgow 2014 Legacy.” Photo  – Victoria receives an Avanti Metro from Rob Waddell, Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Summer Olympics and Commonwealth Games Teams. READ MORE

Avanti Racing putting best foot forward in South Coast

07 August 14: The South Coast team oozes talent and will once again be a formidable force come Wednesday when the field sets off from Mount Gambier. Covering 565km over eight stages before finishing on Sunday in Victoria’s picturesque Port Fairy the race will be hotly contested but the team is confident the can get the job done. Brenton Jones is approaching the race like an AFL team would a Grand Final. His preparation has been meticulous and he is 100 percent focused on getting a result for the team. Neil Van Der Ploeg is another rider that comes with something to prove and should suit the tough racing that the South Coast dishes up forming an integral part of the sprint squad along with Jones, Scott Law and Jack Beckinsale that was so successful at Murray River. A big loss to the team will be the absence of previous champion Anthony Giacoppo who is still recovering form a torn hamstring sustained in Murray. “AJ is a big loss, it’s a pity he won’t be able to go for the win again but the team isn’t lacking options” said team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston. “The weather down here is always a factor so we’ll be looking to stay out of trouble, race smart and stay safe.” Filling in for AJ will be power house team Aaron Donnelly who along with Mitch Lovelock-Fay and Taylor Gunman will be the engine room the team will look to in the crosswinds and lead outs. Mark O’Brien is the only pure climber selected and will be working hard for the team while trying to hone his form for the hilly races that follow. READ MORE

3rd at Ironman 70.3 Cobra Philippines

04 August 14: This is my 6th time back to race and it's incredible how this event has grown in those years from 400 in the first year to 2500 athletes this year and another 500 people on the waiting list. Unfortunately I arrived with no bike as it missed my connections, My bike finally arrived at 9pm the night before the race, not ideal but that's travelling with a bike and I was grateful I had it and didn't have to borrow one. Race morning dawned hot and humid with the mercury already at 27°c at 6:30am! Luckily we were already in the water and on our way. I was out of the water in 6th place trying to catch the leading group of four but I wasn't feeling to flash on the bike, I didn't have any power and ended up loosing more time to Canadian Brent McMahon and Aussies Casey Munro and Sam Betten. I was hoping to feel a little better on the run and gain some time back but that just didn't happen, it's tough coming from a New Zealand winter with temps around 14-15°c and then trying to run in 35°c! My last few kilometres were survival and there was the occasional walk through the aid stations to try and get my body temperature down by throwing buckets of cold water over my head! I was happy to finish 3rd and on the podium but a long way down. Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines 1st Brent McMahon 3:59:05 2nd Sam Betten 4:07:30 3rd Cameron Brown 4:15:44 READ MORE

Sky is the limit for Avanti Racing team in Murray

24 July 14: 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.   READ MORE

Chrono Evo - Product Safety Recall

23 July 14: Defect and potential hazard Sheppard’s is conducting a consumer level recall on the above product due to the possibility that the head stem clamp can fracture causing the handle bar to become unstable. This failure may lead to the handle bar loosening and could cause immediate loss of rider control over the bicycle. This can cause accidents with severe injuries. In the interests of public safety, Sheppard’s is conducting a consumer recall of all potentially affected bicycles. Models affected: The following bicycles in the Sheppard’s range are affected: MY 2012 to 2014 – Avanti Chrono Evo2 and Evo2 Di2 MY 2012 to 2014 – Avanti Chrono Team Evo2 and Team Evo2 Di2 The affected bicycles were available for retail sale from August 11 to July 14. What to do: Consumers should stop riding the bicycles immediately and contact their place of purchase to arrange for a replacement head stem clamp to be ordered and delivered to the place of purchase for refitting. Replacement head stem clamps are expected to be available from July 14. You will be contacted when the head stem clamps arrive in store to arrange a time for fitting. The replacement head stem clamp will be fitted at Sheppard’s cost. This recall has been undertaken to ensure the safety of our customers as an ongoing commitment to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and product enjoyment at all times.   For further information please contact: New Zealand Sheppard Cycles Telephone: 0800 999 499 Facsimile: 09 9155 912 Email: nzrecall@sheppardcycles.com Website: www.sheppardcycles.com See www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz for other New Zealand consumer product recalls   Australia Sheppard Cycles Telephone: 1300 883 305 Facsimile: 03 8345 9399 Email: ausrecall@sheppardcycles.com Website: www.sheppardcycles.com See www.recalls.gov.au for Australian product recall information READ MORE

World Rowing Cup III - Lucerne

09 July 14: Since our triumph in Aiguebelette we have been getting stuck into our work on a 7km lake just 30mins drive from Lucerne. It has been a great location to us, been delivering great flat water to row on as well as great chefs at the hotel serving great food. Ensuring that we are delivering top performances during training. It will be a sad day to say goodbye, but not quite yet, we will be back for 2 weeks straight after the World Cup. Entries for Lucerne are up from Aiguebelette, we have our usual suspects for the medals coming from Denmark, Great Britain and France. We welcome to the party Australia, Italy and the Dutch. All highly worthy of a place in the final and a spot on the podium. We say goodbye to USA and China. Heats are on Friday, Semi Final on Saturday and Final on Sunday with Sky Sport NZ having live coverage on the finals.  Also some idea on what we are up against, have a click through to the following article which talks about one of our top competitors. A very worth while read. http://www.worldrowing.com/news/danish-national-icon-the-lightweight-men-four (Photo is from where we have been training in Sursee).    READ MORE