Tom Petty has been managing the Mobius-BridgeLane team for several years. Here he answers a few questions about the hopes and ambitions of the team in the 2018 NRS.

We continue our series of NRS team profiles. This time we get the inside word on Mobius-BridgeLane from team manager Tom Petty. To keep the format (relatively) regular, these profile provide responses to 10 questions issued to numerous teams with an association with Cycling Australia’s National Road Series.

There are only nine races in the NRS of 2018 but there is considerable interest in seeing the series grow and the passion of team owners like Petty and others who have already responded to RIDE Media’s survey is evidence that there’s huge scope for this style of racing.

Title sponsor Mobius has been joined by BridgeLane in 2018 and the influence of the team is far reaching. RIDE published a ‘Back Page’ column about a visit by Mobius riders to Geraldton, WA (in #RIDE74) and it outlines the impact that a ‘local’ team can have on communities, far and wide.

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Below are Tom Petty’s responses to RIDE’s 10 questions about his team for the NRS in 2018.

 

  1. Can you please provide a list of riders on your team?

 

Mobius-BridgeLane      
Name State Hometown Age
Ethan Batt NZ Blenheim 19
Ethan Berends VIC Melbourne 19
Connor Brown NZ Auckland 19
Ben Carman QLD Brisbane 23
Jesse Coyle NSW Sydney 24
Alistair Donohoe VIC Melbourne 23
Liam Edwards VIC Shepparton 18
Alex Evans VIC Bendigo 21
Brad Evans NZ Christchurch 25
Carne Groube NZ Palmerston North 20
Nick Kergozou NZ Invercargil 21
Peter Livingstone NSW Sydney 21
Angus Lyons VIC Ballarat 22
Ben Metcalfe NSW Sydney 17
Conor Murtagh VIC Melbourne 24
Dylan Newbery QLD Maroochydore 23
Aden Reynolds NSW Sydney 24
Craig Wiggins WA Albany 18

For more team profiles, search “NRS” on ridemedia.com.au.

2. Can you please list the staff/management of your team?

  • Tom Petty (28) Australian: Team Founder, General Manager and Directeur Sportif
    Tom started the team in 2015 and overlooks all aspect of the team, from sponsorship, marketing, race logistics, rider training and return on investment.
  • Scott Bradburn (40) Australian: Assistant Manager
    Scott rode for the team in the early years and has been vital as part of the staff. He helps communication between the staff and riders, and strives to help in any way he can.
  • Astrid van Uden (30) New Zealander: Marketing Manager and Masseuse
    Astrid previously worked in the USA for a team, before doing more marketing work with a bike brand. She has since combined these soigneur skills with the marketing element to ensure our riders are expertly looked after at races and the team is well presented.
  • Warren Docker (70) Australian: Head Soigneur
    Warren assists with the race planning logistics, breaking down the specifics, as well as being a soigneur, to ensure we have all the resources needed at a race.
  • Marc Prutton (36) New Zealander: Directeur Sportif
    Marc used to race competitively, before starting his coaching business, he mainly mentors the riders at races as a DS.
  • Myron Simpson (27) New Zealander: Directeur Sportif
    Myron used to race competitively at a very high level, and has since been heavily involved in schools cycling in NZ. He operates as a DS and a mentor.
  • James Naylor (29) Australian: Soigneur
    James has worked in hospitality, owning cafe’s and assists the team at races with cooking, coffee and post-race nutrition.

Mobius-BridgeLane is a fantastic looking team that is well supported by a host of sponsors.

3. Can you please list your title sponsors and what their line of business is?

• Mobius: A marketing and design business (www.mobius.com.au)

• BridgeLane: A leading alternative asset manager (www.bridgelane.com.au)

 

4. Can you please list your co-sponsors?

  • Maia Financial
  • Aver
  • Pave the Way – Bike Fitters
  • Manly Warringah Cycle Club
  • Blue Dinosaur Bars – Nutrition
  • BrickX
  • Sprout Stack
  • Geraldton Bikes
  • Hosexpress
  • 2VNet
  • EMF Griffiths
  • Cuore
  • Focus Bikes
  • POC

Alex Evans, on the podium with Esteban Chaves at the 2018 Jayco-Herald Sun Tour.

  1. Do you expect that your team will contest all events on the NRS calendar in 2018?

“We stepped up to UCI Continental level in 2018, but for us, supporting domestic racing and the NRS is very important.

“We’ll be at every race, but this year we will be stretched thinner to cover both calenders, and run a mixed roster of primarily u21 athletes in the NRS in the aim to develop them long term.”

 

  1. Can you please list relevant social media links that are associated with your team?

Dylan Newberry ahead of Rob Power in the Jayco-Herald Sun Tour.

  1. What is your team’s main motivation for being part of the NRS?

“The motivation of the team itself is to help create something that benefits everyone.

“By supporting the NRS you create better racing, more coverage and money so it helps the racing and the sport grow.

“The actual racing side of things… well, we have aspirations to be the number-one ranked team in the NRS, I don’t suspect it will happen this season, but we’ll keep aiming to win races and race aggressively whilst developing riders in the way we want to.”

 

  1. What could be done to improve the NRS?

“Well, we are already on the way there, I think a lot of the planning side of things is complete, a lot of this happened last year, we are moving into implementing these things and I guess in this phase (before the season has begun) it’s hard to critique it too much.

“We still have a long way to go, but I’m very optimistic with the work being done, and believe in the people doing their job to make that happen.

“I think a lot of people involved at the moment, I have a lot of respect for, I can see they are in it for the right reasons and I know with the work going into it all, we’re going to end up in a better place.

“If guys like Kipp, ACJ, Cam McKimm, Sam Layzell, these guys keep working to the goals, we’ll see the NRS greatly improved. So I’m going to give a bit of a non-answer here and we can revist this in September!”

 

  1. How many years have you and your team been involved in:

a) Cycling – Since 2012 (Tom, originally started the Sydney Uni Velo Racing team back in 2012 with Brad Hannaford, before creating a stand alone team – mobius-BridgeLane, at the end of 2014.

b) The NRS – Since 2012.

View from the team car at the Jayco-Herald Sun Tour.

  1. Miscellaneous:

Goals:

“I want to take the team to the highest level possible, UCI Continental is not the end-game for me, we want to continue the pathway, but it’s still very important to me to continue the community based junior development stuff we do and be present here in Australia supporting the NRS.

“I feel the NRS has massive potential and we really want to be a part of creating a better series for everyone and having a lasting impact. Our goal is to be the number-one ranked team in Oceania.”

 

On Managing a team

“To run a team, so much sacrifice and work goes in, the team work, achieving things together and the endurance element of being able to do this well consistently all season and manage and motivate the riders to get the results.

“It challenges me so much and I love that – and that’s why the National Series, and doing well there, matters so much to us.

“I think it reflects the collaboration between staff, riders, sponsors and its one of the greatest things about team management and biggest challenges is working with all types of people and balancing personal and collective goals.”

 

Notable Graduates

  • Alex Frame: Trek Segafredo
  • Robert Stannard: Mitchelton-BikeExchange for 2019
  • James Fouche: Team Wiggins
  • Campbell Stewart: Team Wiggins
  • Benjamin Dyball: St George Continental
  • Liam Magennis: Drapac-EF

 

The story

a) In 2012, I first started cycling management creating a club based racing team representing the Sydney Uni Velo Club. This still exists in other ways today.

b) Learning a lot about the basics of management, I felt mid-2014, that I had the ability to create a team that could challenge to be the best team in Australia. My main motivation was wanting to create a lasting environment for the successful development of young riders, with the right support networks.

c) Starting a new team to benefit all the clubs, instead of just one, and a commitment to supporting junior initiatives, as well as spreading the importance of sport and healthy lifestyles to local schools, we wanted to benefit more than just the 15 riders on the team.

d) To get a team off the ground required me to write endless proposals, seek as much advice as possible in the hope of finding the right partner to help the team get off the ground. Some team’s start differently, with already a major sponsor involved, to find this initial partnership took 3-4 months of 70hrs working weeks. A process that left me exhausted in a way a hard block of racing never had!

e) Eventually, with the support of mobius, Aver, Titanium Partners, Pave the Way, Cervélo Australia, Cuore Australia, Swiftwick and POC – we had the ability to get the team up and running. There are a lot of people from those brands, and individuals who made it happen. I am often given the credit for this, but it would never have been close to what we see today without their team work and consultation.

f) Two months into the team’s existence, we struck gold, or more specifically rainbow coloured gold, with two of our riders – Alex Frame (now of Trek Segafredo) and Pieter Bulling (NZ men’s track endurance) – winning the teams pursuit world championship in Paris. The start of a lasting partnership with the NZ men’s track endurance program.

g) 2015 saw our new team have a modest first season that was capped by teamwork and consistency, with the emergence of talented under-19 rider Liam Magennis, under-19 Oceania champion Jackson Carman, and provided the foundation for current key riders like Peter Livingstone, Nick Kergozou and Aden Reynolds.

h) 2016 we managed to recruit very well and build a strong squad on the foundation we had set. Ben Dyball was our marquee signing, with talented under-19 Kiwi duo James Fouché and Rob Stannard (now Australian) joining the squad. We went on to win the majority of all state, national and Oceania road medals in the JM19 category capped by James’ impressive solo Oceania title, making it two years in a row for mobius Future Racing.

i) Our partnerships also grew, with a new link to Geraldton, WA provided an increase in funding, as well as support system for our riders.

j) Our team started to win more NRS races with Nick Kergozou taking the team’s maiden NRS victory, in a one-two with Rob Stannard at the Tour of the Great South Coast.

k) We had our first podium GC with Robert Stannard taking second on GC at the National Capital Tour, and Campbell Stewart winning the final stage, later to sign for mobius Future Racing.

l) We then went on to win our first NRS tour, the coveted Tour of Tasmania, with Ben Dyball winning in emphatic fashion after an excellent team performance with a historical victory up Poatina.

m) At the end of the 2016 season we were ranked second overall in the NRS, in only our second year of racing.

n) For 2017, we had to work hard to replace our key riders who were taking steps up into the professional ranks, we added more youth with exceptional talents like Campbell Stewart, Ethan Berends and Mitchell Wright stepped into our under-19 program after an impressive year as an under-17 with our team. Other key additions included Dylan Newbery and Jesse Coyle, would form a powerful and impressive duo in 2017.

o) 2017 saw us expand our program with some UCI challenges racing the New Zealand Cycling classic as well as the Tour of the Gila and other races within the USA. We had good showing despite the new level, and taught our riders a lot.

p) We recorded multiple victories with Mitchell Wright winning the jm19 National Championships, and Peter Livingstone and Angus Lyons going one-two at the Tour of Tasmania being highlights.

q) In 2017, the team visited and hosted more school and junior days than ever before, creating a key partnership with local club Manly Warringah CC that had the foresight to see the benefits of such a partnership and what it could do for all of cycling in Sydney and across NSW, Australia.

r) In 2017 our team finished third in the NRS after a hard-fought battle with a lot of big teams.

s) We established and engaged with new partners, sharing our vision for wanting to take our team to the world stage to provide our riders with the right access to the racing which will give them the opportunity to create professional careers in sport.

t) BridgeLane Capital were really the partner that enabled this jump, coming on board to assist with our growth and make it possible. Into our third year, we have a lot of sponsors still present since day one, and it’s been their continued support, as well as these key new partnerships that have enabled us to be where we are. I don’t know if I view the team as “successful” yet, or at what specific point we say, “We are happy with this” because we live in a cycle of planning, implementing and reviewing, we just continue to focus on what we are doing and try and listen to our riders first, and try and build the team they need. We engage with a lot of our past riders, to learn about the demands at the professional level, and try to implement these processes at our level, to educate our team better.

 

Goals

  • Create the best environment for the successful development of young people into being the best they can be.
  • To create a team that can operate for many years to come, providing some stability for riders in Australia.
  • To act and assist the goals of our national federations to achieve their goals and better improve cycling in Oceania.
  • To create benefit for young riders between 11-17 by offering skills and education and fun days to promote cycling.
  • To visit schools in the areas we go to, sharing our message and the positives of being active and bikes.
  • To provide our sponsors with a mechanism for the promotion and development of their own businesses and help them achieve their goals.

 

“The BridgeLane Capital partnership came about through my bike fitting business ‘Pave the Way’. I met Markus and we stayed in touch about his cycling adventures and how is bikes were going, we talked a bit about the team, and I reached out in the hope he may have some contacts, be able to mentor or advise how to grow the team and even be able to connect me with potential sponsors.

“I shared my vision and lofty goals and Markus saw the opportunity to partner with the team through his own business. We broke down the required components together and the staff within his business provided excellent legal advice and business development for me to make the right decision to navigate these components with the right information. We are so grateful that they have helped us, and what most excites me is what the future can bring.

 

“Mobius, being the primary title sponsor, take on a big role of not just adding vital funding for the project, but their incredible brand and marketing knowledge has been pivotal to ensure we’ve kept our values present at every stage of our growth. They assist us in so many areas, we’ve ended up with a group of passionate and supportive sponsors, that feel more like family.

“I think they’ve done a fantastic job of helping me turning a vision into a reality.

“The ability to navigate the challenges we’ve faced together, consult, persist with my relentless emails and helped steer us to here, is incredible. I’m most grateful for their expertise and design but really, they do a lot of listening and i think they see what we want to be, and keep that with them to ensure we are staying on that path, despite the craziness that elite cycling throws up.”