HRH Prince George to receive his first bike - Avanti Lil Ripper

12 April 14: The Avanti Lil Ripper was presented to the Duke of Cambridge by Avanti New Zealand founder John Struthers at the official opening of the Avantidrome in Cambridge today. The bike features a bespoke design by Shane Hansen, one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists. John Struthers, Avanti founder, said it is a privilege to gift one of Avanti’s popular children’s bikes to Prince George on his inaugural visit to New Zealand. “Avanti is honoured to be presenting the Lil Ripper to the Royal family and we’re sure, as with all new parents, it will be exciting for the Duke and Duchess to see their son riding his first bike. We understand a child’s first bike has always been a significant event in any family.” “It is a pleasure to be part of the official opening of the Avantidrome. Avanti is committed to cycling in New Zealand and to continually designing bikes with leading edge technology, for family recreation through to high performance cycling teams. We are excited that this new world-class facility will cater to these groups,” he said. The Avanti Lil Ripper’s lightweight alloy frame, wheels and no pedals is perfect for teaching balance and confidence in the early years of learning to ride. Integrating bespoke artwork personalised the bike for the Royal family and will be a reminder of their time in New Zealand. Artist Shane Hansen said the Big Adventure design was aptly named because a bike signified a “big adventure” for young and old alike. “The design was created to represent Prince George’s first visit to New Zealand and in a bigger context, his future journey through life. Maori motifs signify the planting of seeds, the nurturing and growing of relationships and connection to the people of this land. The flowing nature of the design creates movement, helping to carry Prince George forward and negotiate life’s ups and downs, with a balanced approach,” he said. A replica of the Prince’s bike has been made as a reminder of the Royal visit and will be on display at the Avantidrome. About Shane Hansen Shane Hansen is one of New Zealand’s most popular artists of contemporary, Maori-inspired, artworks. Shane likes a strong, clean line. His works take us on a journey of cultural discovery and personal life experiences through the use of modern Maori motifs, vibrant colours and expressive bold imagery. In 2013, Shane completed a number of successful projects with BMW NZ, Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee. Shane started 2014 contributing original works to charities and fundraisers for Amnesty International and Starship Foundation. For more about Shane Hansen please visit www.shanehansen.co.nz Big Adventure Design – Full Description Aotearoa, New Zealand, is a land of mixed cultures and beliefs, where majestic mountains meet elegant flowing rivers. New Zealand sits proudly under the Southern Cross and celebrates its place in the world. Maori motifs signify the planting of seeds, the nurturing and growing of relationships and connection to the people of this land. The three circles, throughout the design, are symbols of HRH Prince George, and his father and mother who will guide him through life - protecting and mentoring him. The Whanau (family) that grows together is strong, solid and supportive. The flowing nature of the design creates movement, helping to carry HRH Prince George forward and negotiate life’s ups and downs, with a balanced approach. READ MORE

Avanti Racing lead National Rankings after First Round

01 April 14: The Avanti Racing Team’s defense of their National Road Series Titles couldn’t have got off to a better start with Joe Cooper taking out the seasons first event at the Tour De Perth on Saturday.  Cooper took the lead after a dominant display in the Rottnest time trial on stage 3 where he managed to overhaul a 1:07 deficit to race leader Tim Roe and move in to yellow with a slim 4 second advantage. Backed by a super motivated team Cooper successfully defended his lead on the final stage with Mitchell Lovelock-Fay finishing third overall to put two Avanti Riders on the podium.  Cooper now leads the National Road Series on 15 points from Tim Roe (Budget) on 13 points and teammate Lovelock-Fay in third on 9 points. Undefeated as the number one team in the National Road Series for the last four years Avanti Racing will be gunning for yet another teams title having won the team’s classification at Tour De Perth. Budget Forklifts will be fighting hard for the title as will the big budget UCI Pro Continental team Drapac who will be desperate to show that they can get the better of their less resourced rivals. Fans won’t need to wait long for their next NRS installment with the Tour of Adelaide starting this Wednesday. The Adelaide Tour is devoid of a time trial or hill top finish so expect the racing to be much more tactical. Picking the winner won’t be easy but Avanti Racing will be hoping one of their eight riders can get the job done. Avanti Racing for Adelaide Tour: Joe Cooper, Jack Haig, Mark O’Brien, Jack Beckinsale, Tom Robinson, Neil Van Der Ploeg, Brenton Jones and Ben Dyball. Sponsors of the Avanti Racing Team include Avanti Bikes, Praties, Shimano, Giro, Torq Nutrition, Champion Systems, Motion, Adidas Eyewear, BioCeuticals, Kenda tyres, Park Tools, Easton, Zero, High Sierra, Rocktape, Aussie Butt Cream. Palmares of Avanti Racing Team riders for 2014:• Jack Haig, Best Young Rider 2014 Tour Down Under, 3rd Stage 3 Herald Sun Tour, 3rd Overall Herald Sun Tour, Best Young Rider Herald Sun Tour. 2013 National Road Series Champion.• Brenton Jones, 2014 Bay Series Winner, 3rd Australian Criterium Championships, 1st Stage 3 NZ Cycle Classic, 3rd Oceania Road Race Championships• Ben Dyball, Winner Stage three 2013 Tour Of Japan, 4th Australian Time Trial Championships• Tom Robinson, 7th 2013 Melbourne to Warrnambool • Joe Cooper, 1st Oceania TT Championships, 1st 2014 Tour De Perth • Neil Van Der Ploeg, 4th 2013 Australian Championships Road Race• Jack Beckinsale, Winner 2013 NSW Grand Prix• Mark O’Brien, 2012 National Road Series Champion For further information:Steve Price – Director, Australian Performance Cycling Network Inc. Avanti Racing TeamPh: 0439991490 Email: steve@avantiracingteam.com.au   READ MORE

Brown 2nd at Ironman New Zealand

03 March 14: Race morning dawned cool but clear with lake Taupo about 10c warmer than the outside air temperature!  I tried to stay on the feet of the main pack in the swim but the group split up half way down to the first bouy and I exited the swim just behind the second pack 2:20mins down. I started the bike feeling good and knew I needed to catch the front group quickly as it contained the main players of Bevan Docherty, Marko Albert, Terenzo Bozonne and Romain Guillaume of France. I worked with Aussie Tim Berkel and Kiwi Guy Crawford to close the gap and by the 80km we had caught the leaders. The race then turned as Marko made a slight break heading through the special needs bag area at the 95km mark, he received the wrong bag so rode on up the road while we all tried to rip open our bags and pull out our bottles. This was all Marko needed to get a break and he rode a way into the horizon. The time gaps to him slowly increased and by the time we got back to T2 his lead had grown to 6:30mins, I still felt good and was hopeful we could make inroads to his lead early on in the marathon. I started the run with Bevan and Terenzo and we quickly took up a pace of close to 2:42hr marathon, still the gap to Marko was not coming down and we completed the first of three 14km loops only taking 15seconds out of him. I knew I had to keep the pace high and Bevan dropped off the group at the 17km mark, Terenzo stayed with me until 22km and I was then left chasing on my own but still Marko was running strong. The gap finally came down to 3:20 with 8km to go but now I was paying the price for my effort in the first half of the race. Marko went on to win his First Ironman and a well deserved win. I finished 2nd with Terenzo coming in 3rd. It’s now time for a short break to prepare for the next race and the season ahead. Thanks again for your support. I’ll be back next year to celebrate 31years of Ironman New Zealand! Ironman New Zealand, 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run Men1. Marko Albert (EST) 8:17:332. Cameron Brown (NZL) 8:21:553. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)8:28:564. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 8:29:535. Tom Lowe (GBR) 8:31:566. Daniel Halksworth (GBR) 8:41:497. Guy Crawford (NZL) 8:44:038. Philip Graves (GBR) 8:52:349. Bevan McKinnon (NZL) 9:00:5910. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 9:01:20 READ MORE

30th Anniversary of Ironman NZ this weekend

27 February 14: I remember as a young Junior Triathlete watching the race when it took place in Auckland and following the race around on the back of my dads truck supporting the athletes. Now I will be taking part in my 17th Ironman New Zealand this Saturday. I've had a great build up and have had some fantastic lead up races so now it's all go for another crack at this amazing race. The professionals will start at 6:45am and the age groupers starting some 15minutes later at 7am. Make sure you get on the internet at some point during the day and to check the live updates at http://www.ironman.com/ . I'll be in touch straight after the race to let you know how my day unfolded.  Check out these great articles: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Interview/Good_times_with_Cameron_Brown_4187.html http://www.xtri.com/features/detail/284-itemId.511716787.html READ MORE

Homegrown talent on display at the Avantidrome's first event in Cambridge next month

27 February 14: Geoff Balme, Home Of Cycling’s CEO expects that there will be a lot of interest in the Avantidrome’s first event, saying it’s a natural response for people in the region to be curious, and keen to check out an important event at the new, nationally recognised facility, conveniently located in their own backyard. As it is the final opportunity for track cyclists to press claims for selection for the New Zealand team ahead of July’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Balme is certain that spectators will be in for a phenomenal experience. “The scene will be set with speed; colour, movement and high class athletic ability on display from the athletes competing all combining to make it a great spectator experience. It’s absolutely action-packed. The first thing you notice is that it’s fast. Speeds get up to 80km/hr on the track. If you’re up close to the action you can feel the wind go by. It’s incredible.  “You’ll notice that the track also has continuous movement, which is a really good thing – there’s always something to look at. At the Avantidrome, there’s movement everywhere with athletes on the track or getting ready in the in-field, the array of colours from around the dozen or so teams competing. It’s an experience not to be missed.” Balme also says that people shouldn’t be put off if they don’t know what all the track events are.  “It’s easy to get your head around it. Some events take a little longer to understand, such as the Madison and the Points Race because the one out in front is not necessarily in the lead due to lapping on the track. The sprints and pursuits are simple to comprehend,” Balme says. Event Organiser Kevin Endres, of U Leisure, is excited about the Track Nationals and says that it’s the first time an event of this significance has been in the Waikato.  “It’s great to play host here in Cambridge. It allows North Island cycling enthusiasts the opportunity to gain an insight into track cycling and the phenomenal talent that New Zealand has – especially before they go to compete on the world stage at the Commonwealth Games. “It’s a unique opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to come along and see our elite athletes racing on a World Class track. With four days of solid competition including day and night sessions, we encourage community members; adults, students and kids to come along and watch the action.” Endres is expecting a good turnout at the event. “There’s been a great response and a lot of interest from locals, particularly from the cycling community. We’re expecting to sell out for the night and weekend sessions, when medal races will take place. With adult tickets from $10, it’s an affordable outing to see our top sporting talent on display. I encourage people to head long and check it out. ” For more information and tickets visit: www.tracknationals.co.nz Tickets available from 17 February 2014 Lauren Heginbotham, U Leisure Ltd READ MORE

Double World Champion Kiwi Cyclist Retires

31 January 14: The 31 year old, who has battled back from injury and hip surgery over the past two years, has decided the time is right to finish her competitive cycling career. Shanks, who managed her injury throughout her 2012 Olympic campaign, had surgery last year with the intent of returning for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year and the Olympics in Rio in 2016. However she says that she can no longer manage the physical and mental demands to get back to the top of her sport.  “I have been playing sport my entire life and have had an incredible journey.  I have cherished every single part of it - the hard work, the training, the people, the travel, the failures and obviously the successes. I love representing my family, Otago and my country,” Shanks said. “I have a real passion for what I do and have always committed 100 percent but I have to listen to my body when enough is enough.  “If I can’t do something 100 percent physically and mentally then it’s time to find a new challenge and start a new adventure. “I can’t keep pushing at the level that I need and want to in order to achieve the results that will make my country, my family and my friends and most importantly myself, proud.” Shanks said that her hip is improving and she believes she could win a spot in the team for Glasgow, but does not want to just attend if she cannot be at the level to win a gold medal again. “I have been out of competition for so long now. I have been working hard but the spark and passion that drives me is not there. The way I work with my husband and coach Craig, we are not willing to do something unless we can do it to the absolute best that I can be. “It has been tough to let go but I know this decision to retire from cycling is right one and I will step away satisfied and proud of what I have achieved with the help of a massive support team including HPSNZ, BikeNZ and my team of sponsors “I am disappointed that I won't race on the new Avantidrome in Cambridge but there will always be ‘another race’ as the cycling world carries on but in every athlete’s career there has to be one final finish line and I’ve reached mine.” Shanks said that she remains passionate about the sport and about her future, working with her sponsors and other commercial opportunities. “I’m excited about the new pathways that lie ahead and it’s now time to transfer all my drive and energy into a new passion and put my marketing and nutrition degrees to use. “I am very excited about the opportunity to extend work with my sponsors Volkswagen and Avanti as well as continuing my role as an Olympic Ambassador with the NZOC. “Craig and I are about to start building our house with Urban Homes in the Waikato which is a really exciting time. And of course as BikeNZ steps into a new era with the new Avantidrome Home of Cycling in Cambridge and I hope to stay involved in the sport that has given me so much.” READ MORE

Brown 6th at Asia -Pacific 70.3 Championships

20 January 14: I had a solid all round day finishing in 6th place in a fantastic field. The Auckland weather was at it's absolute best with clear blue skies and little wind. I had a good swim to exit in the 3rd bunch 1:10 down on the leaders. On the bike there was a big group of 12 riders followed by our group of around 10 athletes, we couldn't make any inroads to the men in front as we headed over the Auckland harbour bridge and then up the Northern motorway. By the time we got back to the waterfront Andrew Yoder from the USA had made a charge to the front and was now leading the race with a good break on every one else. The two laps along the Auckland waterfront is just fast and dead flat, we ended up loosing another 20seconds to the group and it was now going to end up a running race to see who would win. I started the run in around 14th place but was feeling good and had some good company to run with in Aussies Craig Alexander and Tim Reed. We started catching the guys in front and I moved into 5th with 5km to go but had Tim sticking right on my shoulder. In the end we ran out of road trying to catch the 4 athletes in front but closed the gap to finish just 36seconds down on 3rd with Tim out sprinting me for 5th. My form feels great and I now have 6 weeks until Ironman New Zealand on March 1st so I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of Ironman preparation which will include some long hours of training! I'll be in touch soon. Results: Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championships Results, 2km swim, 90km bike, 21km run FRODENO, JanGermany  21:43  2:09:45  1:11:59  3:45:40 1 CUNNINGHAM, RichieUnited States 22:17  2:09:43 1:13:30  3:47:22 2 BOZZONE, TerenzoNew Zealand 22:13  2:09:19  1:14:04  3:47:33 3 DOCHERTY, BevanNew Zealand 22:10  2:09:34  1:14:05  3:47:44 4 REED, TimAustralia 22:53  2:10:33  1:12:35  3:48:05 5 BROWN, CameronNew Zealand 22:56  2:10:26  1:12:43  3:48:09 6 ALEXANDER, CraigAustralia 22:46 2:10:42 1:13:05  3:48:34 7 POLSON, JohnAustralia 22:53 2:10:42 1:13:08  3:48:52 8 KEMP, ChristianAustralia 22:16 02:09:15 1:16:49  3:50:30 9 O'GRADY, GrahamNew Zealand 21:46 2:10:01 1:17:27  3:51:16 10 READ MORE

The Magic 10!

08 January 14: After my shocking season last year I took an early season break having 7 weeks off in August. It was probably the best thing I could have done for my body and mind as I've come back with no niggling injuries, more motivated and ready to train the house down. Race day dawned overcast with some light rain but that soon dried up to be a hot humid day. I was out of the water 1:40 down on Graham Ogrady, Mark Bowstead and Callum Millward but as soon as I was on the bike I felt strong and started making in roads on the leader's to have the gap at 45 seconds by the half way point. Soon after that Bowstead made his move and started pulling away from everyone. I moved into 2nd at the 65km mark and came into T2 2:20 behind Bowstead with Millward and Ogrady 3rd and 4th in transition. Onto the 21km run I was hopeful to bring the gap down as quickly as I could and by the first turnaround at 4km mark the lead was down to 1:50. By the time we came back to transition at the 10.5km mark I was exactly 1min down and feeling great. Finally at the 14km mark I reeled in Mark to take the lead and made sure there was a gap straight away so I could try and enjoy the final section of the race around the Mount Maunganui base track. My first win here was way back in 1998 and was special but to win number 10 in the 25th anniversary of the race at 41 years old was just fantastic. I now have the Asia-Pacific Championships in Auckland in two weeks time(January 19th) and then I have 5 weeks until Ironman New Zealand on March 1st. I'll be in touch soon. Port of Tauranga Half Results Elite Men 1 Cameron Brown            Auckland                 3:54:102 Mark Bowstead             Auckland                 3:56:153 Braden Currie               Wanaka                   4:00:524 Callum Millward            Auckland                 4:01:385 Rob Creasy                  Cambridge               4:05:20 READ MORE