The team has had a busy few months, racing at the National Racing Series (NRS) events at Cycle Sunshine Coast and Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour. In between those two events, the team all came to Perth for a training camp in the lead up to the Tour of Margaret River.
The women’s team are showing how well they are working together, continue to get stronger each race. At Cycle Sunshine Coast, the team of Mackenzie Coupland, Savannah Coupland, Lucie Fityus, Emma Pratt and Hannah Seeliger were first in the team’s classification, an outstanding result. This was achieved by the team working together to get multiple top 10 finishes, including 2nd on Stages 4 and 5 (Lucie Fityus), and 8th(Mackenzie Coupland), 9th (Lucie Fityus) and 10th (Emma Pratt) on the General Classification. They also achieved 4th (Lucie Fityus), 5th (Mackenzie Coupland) and 9th (Hannah Seeliger) places in the young rider category. The men’s team were still finding their legs after returning from Europe and had a tough race. The standout performance was from Ryley Collett who raced, and completed, his first NRS race.
Next on the calendar was a training camp in Perth for two weeks for the whole team, followed by the Tour of Margaret River. Although not an NRS event, the teams wanted to put in a good performance. The extra time spent together this year, first in Belgium, then the training camp in Perth, which included all of the interstate riders, is being shown by how well the teams are working together and showing that unity out on the road. The Tour of Margaret River is the biggest road race in Western Australia, and the only stage race, with around 900 people entering. Both teams were up against some tough competition, against nine other teams in their grades, including Western Australia’s, and in some cases Australia’s, top riders. The women’s team won their race, and the men’s team came 2nd, which some of the pundits did not predict. Matthew Connan and Mackenzie Coupland won the best young rider categories. The men’s team were 3rd (Brendon Green), 4th (Matthew Connan), 10th (Joe Inglis) and 11th (Will Thomas) in the overall standings. The women’s team not only took a clean sweep of the podium, but they actually secured the top five places (Mackenzie Coupland, Hannah Seeliger, Lucie Fityus, Emma Pratt and Savannah Coupland), plus 8th (Liontin Evangelina Setiawan) on the overall.
The final NRS race of the year was the Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour. Again the hard work and dedication of both teams showed at this event. For the men, Brendon Green won most aggressive rider for Stage 2, and Matthew Connnan was 10th in Stage 1, a tough uphill time trial, and 10th in the young rider classification. The women were 2nd in the team’s classification, plus Mackenzie Coupland was best young rider. Mackenzie came 3rd in Stage 1, most aggressive rider in Stage 2 and 4th on the overall standings. These results do not tell the full story of how Mackenzie stayed with one of the top climbers in Australia and showed everybody her determination, work ethic and ability. In another dominant display of the young rider’s category, the team also achieved 5th (Hannah Seeliger), 7th (Lucie Fityus) and 10th (Savannah Coupland), as well as 3rd on Stage 3 for Lucie Fityus.
These results meant that the in the 2022 NRS women’s young rider rankings, the team achieved 3rd (Lucie Fityus), 8th (Mackenzie Coupland), 12th (Hannah Seeliger) and 20th (Savannah Coupland).
The Cycling Development Foundation saw the end of year awards given. The awards voted for by the riders were:
- Women’s Rider of the Year: Mackenzie Coupland, runner up Lucie Fityus
- Men’s Rider of the Year: Brendon Green, runner-up Jaxon King
- Women’s most improved: Mackenzie Coupland, runner-up Savannah Coupland
- Men’s most improved: Mitchell McGovern, runner-up Ryley Collett
- Coach’s award: Savannah Coupland
Overall we have seen the teams grow and work together and it is great to see their hard work paying off. We wish the riders moving on all the best for the future, in whatever goals and dreams they pursue, and welcome a few new faces for 2023.
Thank you to all of the supporters, parents, and volunteers for your contributions in making this one of our most successful years, and not least, thank you to the riders. May you all keep riding your bikes and having fun.
Sam Bolton, Team Manager
Photo thanks to PB Photography