Local pedal power looks to the big time

READY TO RACE: The new TORQ road racing team are ready to take on the country’s best cyclists. James Rix, Damien Mason, Mark Fenner, Michael troy, Scott Butler and Brenton Jones will ride for the team.CHAMPION local cyclist Mark Fenner will lead a newly formed road racing team for an assault on this year’s National Road series that kicks off next Thursday in Toowoomba.Details of the TORQ road racing team were released this week with Fenner announcing that the squad was designed to give local cyclists a chance to gain exposure to talent scouts from the European powerhouse teams of world cycling.Four local Nowra athletes make up part of the six member TORQ team, Mark Fenner (team manager) and Damien Mason, both master riders of elite level and winners of multiple state and national masters titles, are joined by young Nowra cyclists James Rix and Michael Troy who are both medallists and budding cyclists of immense skill.Two other cyclists, Scott Butler from Wollongong and Brenton Jones from Victoria, make up the remainder of the TORQ team which is currently ranked third in the nation.Senior members Fenner and Mason have taken on a training and mentoring role to help the younger riders develop a prosperous cycling career.Over four tough days, 23 of Australia’s best cycling and big budget teams will race over 450km, from Toowoomba to Narabi.A week later the series continues onto the Santos North West Tour, starting from Naribi.Fenner said entering the TORQ team into the road series will give the younger riders a chance to cultivate their cycling careers and gives the team national exposure.“The idea from my perspective is to get a load of youngsters in the team with oodles of talent and older guys with loads of experience and mentor them, so as to develop the younger guys.”The TORQ team was originally established eight years ago as a mountain bike team, which quickly became the most dominant mountain bike squad in Australia. The team claimed multiple national championships in both male and female titles.Fenner said that mountain bike racing was an ideal conduit for a successful career in cycling.“You have to race the road and train on the road. It was just a matter of establishing a road-based team.“This interest and awareness of the team will aim to provide young riders something to aspire to outside the national program or state institutes of sport if they are either not eligible or simply don’t fit the standard,” said Fenner.Although this is the first time the team will race in a road series, the squad has been training tirelessly and is sporting some exceptional raw, young talent.“We may not necessarily have the strongest riders to aim for overall wins in the general classification, but we are looking to be very aggressive in the early moves and we could cause an upset.”Fenner said the team has definite potential to thrive in the prestigious team time-trial and get the coverage they need to get bigger sponsors on board.“The event is covered largely by SBS and scouts will be on the lookout for potential young riders to draw into the pro-rank,” he said.“This event opens up a lot of avenues for the younger riders to develop further.”Fenner believes the event will give his team the coverage and publicity to pick up a headline sponsor which is fundamental to running a successful team.“We’re lucky because we have a lot of infrastructure set up due to our mountainbike team and the support of our current great sponsors, so that gives something we can build on,” Fenner said.The team’s central sponsor, TORQ, a nutritional energy product, helped form the team and build up their team profile.The four-day challenge is divided up into five stages, which are relatively short in distance, making competition a little more “aggressive,” said Fenner.“Shorter distance can make it super aggressive which leads to quite an exciting, good ride,” Fenner said.To follow the team’s progress follow them on twitter @Torqbss or on Facebook Torq Superstore Bicycle Road Team.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.