Pure Black Racing partners with BikeNZ - PureBlack Racing partners with BikeNZ to help grow NZ cycling talent.

Pure Black Racing

PureBlack Racing and Sheppard Cycles Ltd (Avanti) have partnered with BikeNZ to invest in young road cycling talent by creating a road development squad to race internationally.

The agreement follows PureBlack Racing’s announcement last month stating its plans to race internationally in 2012 were uncertain due to a shortfall in required funding.

PureBlack Racing will be a key delivery partner and sponsor of the BikeNZ Development Team. The team, known as BikeNZ/PBR will race as a national team in a range of international races.

The first confirmed race for the team is the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia next month. The team is likely to compete in Europe and Australia after racing in Asia.

BikeNZ has relished this opportunity to work with PureBlack Racing to invest in New Zealand’s road cycling talent.

“We’re excited to have PureBlack and Avanti on board as partners for our fledging road development program which we have previously not had the funding to invest in any real depth. This partnership will help retain and grow another valuable pathway for aspiring New Zealand cyclists to international road racing success,” said BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner.

“PureBlack Racing has done a great job of promoting cycling, both in New Zealand and internationally and has proven they have the talent, management and technical expertise required to support an international cycling team. We have too few teams like Pure Black and Subway Pro Cycling and cannot afford to lose this expertise.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to have found a way for the team to race internationally this year. Many of the PureBlack Racing riders from 2011 have already committed to riding again this year. This new partnership provides valuable momentum as we continue to work towards our ambitious goal of achieving Pro-Continental status,” said Greg Cross, Business Development Director of PureBlack Racing.

PureBlack Racing received an outpouring of support after last month’s announcement.

"Our inaugural sponsors Avanti, Atlantis Healthcare, Continental Cars and Audi were always committed to our 2012 programme and still are. The uncertainty stemmed from the lack of additional sponsorship funding available. There is a lot of support out there for the team and we’ll continue to seek new sponsors in New Zealand and offshore to fund the costs of operating the team in 2012 and future years,” said Cross.

“Greg and I would also like to acknowledge the fantastic support of Avanti as a key supplier and sponsor to BikeNZ and PureBlack Racing. They are a major contributor to the development of road cycling in New Zealand,” said Turner.

Avanti’s founder and Managing Director John Struthers is delighted to be able to support this new partnership to help New Zealand’s young cycling talent.

“PureBlack Racing did an amazing job representing us on the world cycling stage last year and we’re looking forward to seeing Team BikeNZ/PBR race this year,” said Struthers.

“Even after 25 years of being involved in road cycling here the quality of cyclists our country develops with its limited resources still blows me away. One of things that has always underpinned our business is to do what we can to help young kiwis race and compete on the word stage. I think the evolution of this team with the Bike NZ and PBR teams behind it will provide not only another step forward for road cycling but also a great incentive to all those young riders out there to remain committed”.