Bursting into the top ranks of the National Road Series in 2019, Nero decided to up the ante and become a UCI Continental Tour Team in 2020.
2019 was a fantastic year for the team as a domestic NRS team. They found GC tour success at Tour of the Tropics and Tour de a Tweed with stage successes at TOGSC and Tour of King Valley resulting in the team finishing 3rd in the National Road Series.
Their success was not limited to domestic racing with stage and GC results at both the UCI NZCC and le Tour de Filipinas. Off the bike the team handled themselves like the emerging professional riders they were, representing our sponsors and ever growing community of supporters exceptionally well.
This ‘all in’ team approach is reflected also in their approach to the race. As a team policy, they aren’t choosing a GC rider and will all work together to see what unfolds during the race.
With the move up into the conti ranks came the addition of a number of new riders to the squad. Their new signings in 2020 included Queenslander Ben Carman, Bendigo’s Dylan McKenna and Wagga Wagga’s Myles Stewart all of which will be making their Nero Continental debut at JHST.
Luke Manion, the team’s Director of Operations is looking forward to a strong 2020 with the team.
“The Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be the highest level UCI race the team has ever participated in being a 2.1 race therefore we are super excited about challenging ourselves at this level of racing. There are many unknowns stepping up to a race at this level but both riders and staff will be viewing this as a huge opportunity for the team. Win, lose or draw we will be there to have fun and share adventure with our supporters.
Why is the Jayco Herald Sun Tour import to the Nero Continental’s 2020?
As a first year Continental team it is very difficult to identify races and results to target. However we have always measured the growth of our team by the quality of the individuals and athletes in it. We are confident 2020 will be a success given the caliber of individuals we have assembled.
Manion is looking forward to a few key seconds of the Tour. “The two hill top finishes will no doubt be the deciding factors of the tour. That said a street circuit in Melbourne to finish the tour is something all our riders are incredibly excited to be a part of.”
Young up and comer for the team, Myles Stewart found his way to cycling from rugby as a teenager. “I was playing Rugby League for a junior club in Wagga Wagga when I sustained a leg injury midway through the season and as part of my recovery I started riding. My sister is also a developing young female elite cyclist. It has been great having her come up through the ranks with me.”
Coming into the Tour, he doesn’t have any set goals, which is refreshing for a youngster; “Sun Tour will be my first UCI race so neither myself, my coach or my team have specific result expectations. That said the excitement around the final stage in Melbourne will hopefully be something I can feed off and hopefully grab a result for the team.”
We can’t wait to see the Nero team line up in Nagambie for stage one of our Tour!