Posted by Editoress on 10/22/18
The International Alliance between Canada (NCCH), Australia (X-Speed Australia), and Hong Kong (XSpeed HK) announced earlier this year, has taken a giant step forward with the formation of a Continental Team for 2019.
A groundbreaking collaboration between the three groups to develop their emerging athletes will provide previously unattainable opportunities to young Canadians, Australians and Hong Kongers.
X-Speed United Continental's application to the the Hong Kong Cycling Association was sanctioned last week. Registering in the financial mecca was a "no brainer" to team manager Amanda O'Connor, who recognized that opportunity lay in the need for development but also in creating untapped opportunities in Asia.
"Each group has so much to offer in their own right, but it makes sense that we pool our resources and work together to achieve our common goals. There are great cross border connections being developed here which are really exciting for the future."
Executive Director of the Hong Kong Cycling Association, Mr Alex Wong, echoed O'Connor's sentiments, saying "The time is now right for the association to officially support an alliance agreement to lift the profile of cycling within the region and to develop young athletes currently in the sport."
Founder of XSpeed Hong Kong and a driving force behind the Asian cycling scene, Mr Andrew Szeto, said "We were very happy with our (International Alliance) first activity together at the Tour of Poyang Lake - China. Riders and staff from Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada worked together to provide excellent development opportunities, while at the same time providing cultural exchange between the countries. The forming of a Continental Team will take us to another level, and allow us to gain invites to many more races, where we can expose our riders to quality racing and coaching."
President of Canada's National Cycling Centre Hamilton, Ward Black, was ecstatic with the news coming out of Hong Kong. "We sent our Manager/Head Coach to Belgium, Switzerland, and China this year to seek out other development & racing opportunities for our riders, and this is a sensational outcome. 2019 will see Canada accept riders from Hong Kong and Australia and these alliance members will join us at our new base in Belgium. The formation of a Continental Team will give a clear pathway for our riders, from Development to Trade Team to Continental Team."
In addition to the Continental team, X-Speed United International will operate a women's regional team registered in Hong Kong with the same tri-nation configuration.
The team roster will consist of riders and staff from the three countries and with a targeted race calendar across Asia and Canada for 2019.
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