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by Mark Zalewski
December 13, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: British Cycling funding cut by £4 million; Stig Broeckx continues to make small improvements; Team Smartstop riders finally to get 2015 wages; Niels Albert worries two-man race not exciting enough for spectators; Viacheslav Ekimov nominated for president of Russian Cycling Federation; GreenEdge teams will be ORICA-Scott in 2017; Unitedhealthcare names rosters for 2017; Avanti IsoWhey and SwissWellness merge to create IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team; Canadian development team Silber reloads with young talent; BMC announces kit, tire sponsorship changes; Field, Payton win cyclocross British Cycling National Trophy; Rider recruited by Wiggins via Instagram; ‘Off the Beaten’ Path adventure cycling film.
The top Australian domestic squad Avanti IsoWhey Sports will merge with SwissWellness in 2017 to create the Continental IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team. The team has dominated the Australian NRS the past six years. Despite its success it ran into troubles with their title sponsor Avanti pulling title sponsorship late this year, forcing them to withdraw from the Tour of Southland and leaving the team’s future uncertain.
“We started talking to Rick and Melinda Harper at the National Capital Tour,” said Avanti IsoWhey Sports co-founder Steve Price. “We could see a lot of similarities between the two teams and where we had come from. The passion that we all have for developing riders through a supportive and cohesive environment is very similar so it made a lot of sense.
“Rick and Melinda were doing a great job. Their team is their family which we respect a great deal. They had some break through results this year but they are time poor and could see that running the team on their own was only going to become more demanding. This new structure allows them to come in and out without needing to be anywhere near as hands on yet gives them the flexibility to stay involved and work in the areas that they like.
“There are a lot of changes” said Price. “New sponsors and new riders, it has been a lot of work but it is coming together nicely. Our calendar is looking good too with most of the big races in the first part of the year already locked in.”
Though roster details are forthcoming, it did confirm the signing of Chris Harper from the now-defunt State of Matter-MAAP team.