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New Aussie + Kiwi + Kenyan pro-cycling team aim for the Tour De France

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Beanie Girl, 15th Feb, 2016.

  1. Beanie Girl

    Beanie Girl Well-Known Member

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    Want to be part of an adventure to assist an international Australian-Kiwi-Kenyan cycling team get to the Tour De France?

    My good friend, Nicholas, is the Founder and Honorary CEO of the Kenyan Riders Team Down Under.

    Nick spent 8 years in Kenya converting distance runners into road racing cyclists. His hypothesis was that the home of the world's best distance runners including Kip Keno and David Rudisha would also produce the world's best professional road cyclists one day.

    Kenyan Riders Downunder

    He initially had the idea of putting a 'black man' in the Tour De France, now that dream has become fielding a combined team of Aussies, Kiwis and Kenyans in the Tour De France.

    Hence Kenyan Riders Team Down Under was born in January 2016, a team with UCI Continental registration. The cyclists comprise 3 Australians, 3 New Zealanders, and 6 Kenyans. Amongst them is Jason Christie, the New Zealand road racing champion.

    The Kenyan Riders DownUnder (KRD) team has performed very well for newcomers to pro-cycling with a very small budget that raced in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Victoria.

    krd_cadel_evans_20160131.jpg Kenyan Riders Down Under photo with Cadel Evans (centre)

    Because they have performed so well in the Cadel Evans race, the team has now been offered 100k of quality bicycles and 50k of wheels (carbon fibre frames and wheels). Sponsors are jumping on board to sponsor this team....

    My friend Nicholas, is looking for more sponsors or investors for this team - corporate, individual or philanthropic
    The narrative of VERY disadvantaged background but determined and talented Kenyan cyclists combining their climbing prowess and endurance with our Aussie / Kiwi gritty talent is a very compelling one.......

    Do you know of anyone who wants to get in on this ground floor opportunity?

    The team has a full schedule of races in Australia, Asia and Africa.
    Kenyan Riders Down Under (KRD) has a plan to reach the Tour de France in 2019.

    Professional teams like Sky, BMC (Cadel Evans Team), Lotto, Orica Green Edge have sat up and taken notice. Everybody is buzzing about the Kenyan Riders Down Under.

    Cadel Evans himself remarked on tv (Channel 7) on Sunday how Kenyan Riders Down Under was the smallest team in the race but was making the race international by making their presence felt.

    Competing against some of the world's best professional teams like Sky, BMC, Katusha, Orica Green Edge, Lotto-Soudal, Trek, Lotto NL-Jumbo, Dimension Data, Jason Christie achieved a very respectable 34th position in a field of 146 riders. Our man from Kenya, Suleiman Kangangi came in 75th and outlasted greats like world champion, Mark Cavendish, who did not finish the race, nor did Caleb Ewen. Morgan Smith, a Kiwi KRD rider was in the leadership breakaway group for 70 km. He was constantly seen on Channel 7 for a continuous 1.5 hour. Huge potential brand exposure.

    Morgan_Smith_break_away.jpg
    Morgan Smith, KRD, in the breakaway group

    A week later, KRD repeated that performance on the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with the top 3 KRD riders finishing in the top 50 - 23rd (Jason Christie), 31 (Nick Miller from AU) and 45th (Suleiman Kangangi). 2013 and 2015 Tour De France winner, Chris Froome won the tour.


    herald_sun_tour_2016_630x420.jpg
    Herald Sun Tour 2016 publicity photo. 2013 and 2015 Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, in the middle. KRD's Suleiman Kangangi (from Kenya) on the far right

    And Kenyan Riders Down Under accomplished these feats whilst riding very ordinary bicycles. None of that SRAM, Campagnolo, Shimano that the other Pro Tour teams were riding. Imagine what they could accomplish with world class bicycles, racing gears and wheels!

    What's in it for potential naming sponsors. KRD has 4 unique selling points:
    • A great human interest story
      • Nicholas spent 8 years in Iten, a poor small town in the highlands of Western Kenya converting distance runners into road racing cyclists.

      • KRD teams up young, talented Australian and New Zealand cyclists with some of the highest performing endurance athletes from Kenya
    • Hungry for success - aggressive and sustained break-aways in the above events which resulted in a lot of on screen time and commentary from Phil Liggett (world's most famous cycling commentator) and Cadel Evans (2011 TDF champion).

    • Sustained global visibility - KRD is the only UCI Continental Team in Africa, and is constantly being invited to major international tours and races that seek to increase diversity.
    • Kenyan Riders Down Under (KRD) has a plan to reach the Tour de France in 2019.
    “Jason Christie rides for one of the smallest teams in the race, Kenyan Riders Down Under and this harks back to what you were talking about before, Cadel, with the teams that we see domestically in Australia. To see a team with riders from Kenya, New Zealand and Australia in the thick of the action, with 9 teams we see in the Tour de France, this also adds to the globalization of the sport. Not just the domestic scene.” - Matt Keenan

    “It certainly adds to the globalization. But also Kenya is not a country with a cycling culture, that's for sure. But also, they have an opportunity to come here and race against the pros. And all of a sudden, they take this opportunity and really run with it as we're seeing right here and now.” - Cadel Evans, 2011 Tour de France champion

    Commentary from the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2016 on Channel 7.

    Do you or anyone you know want this ground breaking opportunity to sponsor this talented team to the Tour De France?
     
    Last edited: 15th Feb, 2016
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  2. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Excellent to see a great mix of cyclists and a team with a clear vision.

    Cyclists are very driven! I wish them well in their endeavours and hope they can pick up a few good sponsors.

    I will watch with interest now I know who they are.

    pinkboy
     
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  3. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    If they are cyclists shouldn't they be ridden not driven?
     
  4. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I was going to say 'motivated', unfortunately it's word that's thrown around here all to common and not in its truest form.

    Besides, haven't you read the latest 'motorized doping' scandal the moment?

    pinkboy
     
  5. Esel

    Esel Well-Known Member

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    I had never occured to me before how 'white' cycling is. I guess you need a lot of expensive gear to compete.

    I hope they get the sponsorship they need. I can imagine them getting a lot of media attention if they do well against the big names. Its a bit of a feel good story isnt it?

    Also, makes me wonder if there is a womens Tour de France?
     
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  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    I believe that there's a distinct lack of female endurance road races.
     
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  7. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    SNM is right. Lack of endurance races for professional women. Also lack of interest from media etc, as there is just no exposure to exciting racing.

    The best endurance cyclist women do races such as RAAM (Race Across America), and the TCR (Trans Continental Race - Across Europe from Belgium to Turkey).

    I'm currently following a lady who is in early stages and on track for 1 year most kilometres WR. Nowhere near the men's record, which is 3x the woman's distance.

    pinkboy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 17th Feb, 2016
  8. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    For the first time this year, the Santos Tour Down Under was given UCI WorldTour status for the women's event - the race is now a UCI 2.2 class event.

    We have some of the best female cyclists in the world here in Australia - the races are exciting and worth watching.

    There's been talk about getting a women's Tour de France going for years - but given the ASO's history and general arrogance around their precious race, I'd be surprised to see any real action taken here in the near future :(

    Professional cycling is still trying to sort out their collective crap from years of doping (and now, mechanical doping!) - they've been rather distracted and aren't focused on expanding the sport.

    It also doesn't help that we still don't have a wide-spread cycling culture here in Australia - many women are (rightly) petrified of riding on the road.
     
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  9. Beanie Girl

    Beanie Girl Well-Known Member

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    I've been so busy but I thought I'd give an update how the Kenyan Riders are doing.

    Jason Christie started the 2016 season for Kenyan Riders Down Under by winning the NZ national road race

    krd_jason_christie.jpg

    Kenyan Riders Down Under continue progression with Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Sun Tour starts | Cyclingnews.com

    Not to be outdone, the Kenyan athletes did very well in Brisbane's Mount Cootha Burn, racing up the hill with a 9% average gradient. It's very punishing on the legs but the Kenyans came in 9th and 10th in the Pro/Elite final. Their times are not far off from the winner's 5:45, Samwel Mwangi did the trial in 5:59 in the heats. I think they can make the mountain theirs next year.

    1 0071 MATTHEW CLARK 00:05:45 1 M 1 M-PRO 1
    9 0080 SULEIMAN KANGANGI 00:06:06 9 M 9 M-PRO 7
    10 0079 SAMWEL MWANGI 00:06:06 10 M 10 M-PRO 8

    Brisbane Coot-tha Burn
    Results List

    The Kenyans are climbers but they're training to sprint too. On the Sandown Criterium racetrack in Melbourne, they kept up with top Australian ranked cyclists and averaged 46.5km per hour. This is only their 3rd foray into this type of event, racing with cyclists who've been racing this track since they were 12! So pretty remarkable for the Kenyans.

    KRD_Sandown.jpg

    Meet Salim Kemboi. This was him in 2010. He was selling firewood for a living.

    View attachment 5535 View attachment 5536 View attachment 5537 salim4 (1).jpg

    He chased the cyclists, riding bare-foot on his Black Mamba, which had no brakes at the time. His tenacity impressed, and he was invited to join the junior squad of the Kenyan Riders.
    In 2015, Salim, who was still under 18, became the top junior cyclist in Kenya.

    View attachment 5535 View attachment 5536 View attachment 5537 salim.jpg
     
    Last edited: 25th Feb, 2016
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  10. Beanie Girl

    Beanie Girl Well-Known Member

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    Results for the Mt Baw Baw Classic on 10 Apr which is a brutal uphill climbing race - 104km
    The only Hors Catégorie climb in Australia, the last 6.5km uphill Mt Baw Baw is the steepest road cycle climb in the Southern Hemisphere and the second steepest in the world of cycling racing; second only to the Alpe d’Heuz of Le Tour de France fame.

    Our boys did fantastic, landing 7th, 8th, 11th and 14th sport out of 60 Elite A grade athletes
    4th placed Mark O'Brien of Avanti Isowhey was the winner of last year's Baw Baw race.
    So the boys are doing fantastic in less than 3 months of professional racing in Australia.

    Result: Elite A-Grade
    1. 10 Rhys GILLETT (Van D'am Racing p/b Butterfields) 3h20:49
    2. 4 Sam CROME (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) +56
    3. 15 Jason LEA (Physiohealth/Focus) +2:24
    4. 2 Mark O'BRIEN (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) +3:48
    5. 43 Jesse FEATONBY (Albury-Wodonga Panthers) +4:18
    6. 51 Mitch NEUMANN (Hamilton Wheelers) +4:47
    7. 26 Suleiman KANGANGI (Kenyan Riders Downunder) +4:55
    8.
    27 Geoffery LANGAT (Kenyan Riders Downunder) +5:30
    9. 42 Rowan DEVER (St Kilda) +5:30
    10. 21 Ethan BERENDS (Total Rush Hyster) +6:30
    11. 29 Samwel MWANGI (Kenyan Riders Downunder) +7:31
    12. 20 Alastair CHRISTIE-JOHNSTON (Total Rush Hyster) +7:39
    13. 39 Timothy CAMERON (Lidcombe Auburn) +7:44
    14. 28 Joseph GICHORA (Kenyan Riders Downunder) +8:03

    As Suleiman said, "The likes of Gichora when they see me do such a thing they will be brave also to try from far when necessary. I keep telling them we have to be brave but it starts with me ... and bravery pays in cycling. We are here to pay our dues on the quiet roads of Australia. Because we know how our running brothers did it."

    Suleiman was 2nd in both the Coburg Criterium and the Sunbury Criterium recently. He shared the token prize money with his team mates to encourage them to keep improving and keep trying.

    You can be kept informed of the latest happenings via the Kenyan Riders Downunder website.
     
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  11. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Good on the boys, but you may want to rethink the sensationalist media speak regarding these climbs, because they are simply untrue statements.

    There are many climbs (inclusive of racing) in South America which are twice as long and steeper. There are also about 10 Hors Catégorie climbs in Australia, so Baw Baw is not alone.

    Overall difficulty of Alpe d’Heuz ranks 775th climb of all climbs in the world, while Baw Baw ranks just 548th....hardly a hard climb. Alpe d’Heuz is not famous for its steepness or its duration. Its more widely known for the epic battles that have embroiled over the years by each era's greats.

    Mauna Kea in Hawaii (which I rode up in November last year) is the worlds #1 ranked most difficult climb. Its last 10 miles alone is steeper than Baw Baw let alone its overall climb for 45 miles.

    Source: www.climbbybike.com

    pinkboy
     
    Last edited: 25th Apr, 2016
  12. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  13. Beanie Girl

    Beanie Girl Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's been horrible, pinkboy.
    On the 7th and last day of the Tour of Rwanda, Mwangi had a crash that severed the femoral artery in the leg. Doctors in both Iten and Nairobi hospital tried to save the leg but was just too late, the tissue was dying as the blood flow had been stopped so they had to amputate the leg above the knee last Friday.

    But good news is Mwangi is holding it together very well so far.
    He is in Nairobi hospital.
    His team mate Geoffrey Langat who had an irresponsible motorist plough into him on the last day of the Tour of Machakos in Kenya and sustained serious injury to his hip wrote this in an email to us:

    " I have been through a lot on this sport but such love and will gives me courage to go on with confidence towards the destiny of my career. Many have happened to our team at this very end of the season but I have hope and faith in God that he will make a way for a break through to reach to the best of our dream I this cycling career.

    I will be going for my second check up on 9th of December and will know how far my healing progress has gone, thereafter will know when to get back on my bike.

    Samwel Mwangi is still in pain but he was happy when I was with him on Wednesday and Thursday in Nairobi but all will be well lets all have him in our prayers. Many cyclists and friends and family members are always crowded for frequent visits, this really makes him happy of which its really good indeed".


    The team management are trying to look forward to set Mwangi Samwel up for life after the accident.
    Life is so unpredictable, it is filled with so many sad things but when God opens one door, he usually always opens another.
    We just have to keep trying our best and look forward with hope.
     
  14. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    :'(
     
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