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[PT] Xero Racing '21 | Leaderboards

Youth Development 2021-22 - Update

It has been brought to our attention that one of our youngsters wasn't included in yesterday's talent development press release. We apologise, and without further ado:


Thomas Pidcock
22 | 1.00 > 3.31 | 600,000

Our half-million euro new signing had a fantastic season out on loan in the PCT with our friends at Project: Africa, coming inside the Top 150 of the individual standings thanks to an array of consistent results across all terrains. He gained a great amount of experience in all aspects of cycling. As a result Thomas has returned to us without any real weaknesses, even when held up against any other rider in world cycling, and from here will only look to expand his strengths. Although some projected him going down a climbing route, and it was debated a lot internally and with Pidcock and his camp, the rider and team ultimately both have found more success and interest in further developing his all-around nature. Using the experimental new fighter training regimen that the MGUCI once refused the team use on Jamalidin Novardianto, we now have a chance to create our ultimate baroudeur.
Not yet sure what I think about the way you decided to develop him. It`s clearly an interesting option to get the next Kruijswijk rider, who can top15 anything. Definitely a TONE contender for years to come.

Shocking that at level 3 he is now a 70+ everything, which not many riders are able to get in their prime.
Luis Leon Sanchez
Hmmmm interesting indeed.

Seems crazy to have a rider who will be 70+ in all stats at Lvl3 but won’t have a single primary stat over 76 when maxed.

Brave to take the path you’re taking as I doubt many others would follow the same. But I wish you all the best with his future Smile
I love it to be honest. Makes him super unique and special. With some rounds of training on top of that aswell, he will be an absolute beast!
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Absolutely love this! This pretty akin to the paths I have been toying around with just for fun. Gonna be super interesting to follow him this season coming up considering how Malecki was treated in a Giro a while back riders like these tend to pull off absolute blinders once a season!
@roturn - I mean it's objectively not the best rider you can create, for me if you're talking about points it's still just straight ClimberV1 - 77MO, 80HI, 77RES, 83ACC. Ultimately I have spent so long deciding between that, the way I did it and a slight variation on the way I did it and I decided to just take the opportunity to do something fun and unique rather than the "right" option. Would have been a terrifying rider but I think between Areruya, Higuita, and Stannard I'll survive in the HI/MO races Pfft

Definitely hope there are races on the calendar he can target just as a favourite such as Benelux and ToNE, but stage hunting, attacks and breakaways (if he's allowed) will be the real fun. And yeah the all 70s statline is sooo satisfying Grin

@LLS - Yeah it is definitely crazy - I remember saying to a couple of people way back when I first got him or even right as he was added to the DB, imagine how much everyone hates me if I spent all this money just to not make him a leader at all Pfft

@hillis - Yeah that's the main thing is I just wanted to take the opportunity to create a rider you just don't get in MG and have him on the team for ten years sounds like so much fun even if it doesn't ever end up worth the wages (as unless OVL changes he will still be charged like a leader, since crazily his OVL will be three points above his best main stat :lol: ) I can just enjoy him. And yes, training is a possibility but not a probability - I don't think I'll ever be the team with loads of training money, and it may be better spent on Areruya or Stannard anyway.

@whitejersey - Oh cool - but hands off my freaking riders, look don't touch Pfft Yeah he was already a really valuable PCT tool at level 1 getting about 150 points for aidan, so hopefully he can be really handy again this season. And yes would love a crazy GT run for him one day in the future in a Malecki/Voeckler type of way - possibilities are endless if he strikes in the right place at the right time in any race I guess Pfft

Rwandan Rivalry off the Table!

Rumours have been swirling following the bombshell news this week that Xero are not continuing as title sponsor of Xero Racing, after six years with the team. Attentions quickly turned to the rumours that Visit Rwanda would be stepping up their role within the team and taking Xero's place, moving the team's racing license to Rwanda. This sparked obvious excitement at the prospect of a Rwandan rivalry with Bralirwa - Stevens in the Pro Continental Tour, but hopes were dashed today as Jackson Hughes, the team's General Manager, confirmed that Visit Rwanda were not, in fact, going to have the headline spot with the team, despite increased involvement after their new deal.

"Although we can't confirm anything more yet, talks with various prospective partners are going well and we are looking forward to launching our full list of partners, and our name for next season and beyond, in the coming weeks." Hughes said this morning. This follows Octagon and Telkom Indonesia joining Visit Rwanda and Xero in announcing extensions to their current partnerships with the team.

Murmurs of sponsors from further afield, such as Europe and the Americas, being courted by the team could not be confirmed or denied by thecyclingreport, but are certainly interesting.

2021 Team Awards: Fan Vote!

Voting is well underway for the annual Xero team awards amongst riders, staff and management, but one of the most important awards to the riders is the one decided by you all: the Fan's Rider of the Year! Below is the link to vote from a select list of riders, all helpfully accompanied by their achievements this year. Cast your vote now so your favourite rider can be honoured at our team awards ceremony next week!


National Championships Round-Up

Racing has concluded for the cycling National Championships around the world, and we have a few winners from Xero! We always love showing off the colours of our squad with our stunning NC jerseys, and going into 2022 we have some returning jerseys and will have to get to work on some new ones!

To begin with, Jordan Schleck and Yacine Hamza both swept the amateur championships in their respective nations and will ride both disciplines in their national colours in 2022. The Pro NCs began with disappointment in New Zealand for the favourite Bennett, and two good but not good enough results for Novardianto in Indonesia, with two podium places.


Our first pro win came from Daniel Habtemichael, becoming champion of Eritrea for the first time at this level with a very well-taken win, stunning favourites Kudus and Berhane in the hills. He came very close to a double, just 43 seconds off of Teklehaimanot in the ITT.


Bachirou Nikiema comfortably defended his national road race title in a mountainous mixed race, but once again missed out on a double.


Areruya, Tesfaye Heyi and Bazhkou all shared the road (but were forbidden from interacting) in their mixed championships, and the former (as he often does) attempted a late attack, as the flat course didn't suit him in a straight sprint. He was shut down, but Henok Tesfaye Heyi countered and did get a gap, not only winning the Ethiopian road race title but also the overall race. The others were both close seconds in their races.


In the time trial we once again had only one victor, this time Stanislau Bazhkou took his fourth consecutive Belarussian Time Trial Championship for us.


A wide open road race in the Great White North, with a hilly route that would favour Hugo Houle in a sprint, but some better puncheurs lurked as threats if attacks started way out. They did, but our man weathered the storm to deliver his first ever Canadian NC for us.

Six road race and three time trial champions for us, a very solid outing! We now look forward to the World Championships as the last opportunity to see our riders in action (pending selection) before the off-season truly begins.

2022 Sponsor Announcement

The team are pleased to announce our full list of sponsors and partners for the 2022 season. Obviously in recent weeks Xero have announced they are reducing their involvement in the team, and we are also sad to announce the non-renewal of our deal with Econet. Obviously we know you have many questions about who takes some of their place financially and of course as the team's title sponsor going forward and so on. We hope this presentation answers all of that.

The Primary Sponsors

About: Qhubeka is a non-for-profit, the South African programme of World Bicycle Relief, distributing bikes to help connect people to schools, clinics and jobs.
Contract Until: 2022
Focus Nations: South Africa

A charity which helps use bicycles to support communities in poverty, as well as as a tool to help people of any age move forward in life. Not a sponsor by any means, quite the opposite. We ride for Qhubeka to increase awareness and taking part in fundraising, both of them increasing their funds and reach.


About: Visit Rwanda is a premier tourism company operating in, you guessed it, Rwanda.
Contact Until: 2023 *new contract
Focus Nation: Rwanda, The World (minor)

The Rwandan tourism company are delighted with their continued and increased involvement in the team of local hero Joseph Areruya, who established himself as a star with his 27th-placed finish in the Pro Tour, including gaining huge exposure and popularity with an aggressive Giro d'Italia, including winning the white jersey. As long as he's here, they say they are too.


About: The overnight success that is Xero is now a international company still based in little ol' NZ. They develop online accounting software for small businesses but are moving into larger clients as well.
Contract Until: 2023 *new contract
Focus Nations: New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain (minor), United States (very minor)

Xero stepped in at the last minute in 2016, and since then have been a great asset to the team and are now nearly synonymous with us. They have publicly noted their disappointment in our lack of impact on the young blood of New Zealand cycling and with only two full-time New Zealand riders left in the team, there were always serious questions as to whether Xero would want to continue, with rumours their renewal for 2021 had more to do with PT exposure than local interest at this point. We are delighted they are staying around as one of our primary sponsors, albeit in a reduced role.

The Secondary Sponsors


About: Octagon is the sports and entertainment marketing division of the Interpublic Group (IPG). The IPG is one of the "big four" advertising companies and so being sponsored by the South African arm of the sports arm of the IPG is a smaller deal but with big background.
Contract Until: 2023 *new contract
Focus Nations: South Africa, The World (minor)

Octagon help us get our name on the backs of buses, billboards, wherever, in our target countries. Good for publicity, finances and fans. They have stepped down from their title sponsor role (2016-18) but maintain a solid presence within the team as our marketers and talent representatives.


About: Castle Lager is South Africa's favourite beer and is now available in over 40 countries worldwide.
Contact Until: 2022 *new contract
Focus Nations: South Africa, The World (minor)

Castle Lager continues their long association with South African sport as they continue in their current two-year contract with the team.


About: Expedia is an American online travel shopping company - from flights to hotels and cars.
Contract Until: 2023 *new sponsor
Focus Nations: The World

Expedia join us as a new sponsor this season and we are very excited to work with them, including hopefully getting much cheaper travel for the team!

The Minor Sponsors and Equipment Partners


About: Cell C are a South African mobile operator and telecommunications company.
Contract Until: 2022 *new sponsor
Focus Nations: South Africa

Cell C, much like Castle Lager, have a long-time involvement with South African sport, and after MTN and Telkom used to sponsor Project: Africa, Cell C are the third such company to be involved with South African cycling teams.


About: Stoney Creek are New Zealand's most trusted brand in outdoor clothing.
Contract Until: 2023 *new sponsor
Focus Nations: New Zealand, Australia (minor), Great Britain (minor), United States (minor), Canada (minor)

Stoney Creek make amazing products which will keep our team warm and protected off the bike, but we are particularly excited about their foray into cycling-specific gear - their first try, but we know their quality and have been impressed by what they've shown us.


About: Telkom Indonesia is a majority state owned telecommunications company, the largest in Indonesia.
Contract Until: 2021
Focus Nations: Indonesia

Jamalidin Novardianto is an absolute fan favourite and nowhere is this more clear, other than the manager's office, than in his home country of Indonesia. Not investing too much money, this state-owned telecommunications firm wanted in and will sponsor the team, just so they know we're tight and all, as long as Jams rides for us. So until he retires, then.

Bikes: Avanti
Wheels: Wheelworks
Groupsets: Shimano
Clothing: Stoney Creek
Training: Wahoo
Saddles: fizik
Glasses: Oakley
Bike Care: Muc-off
Bottles/Bike Storage: Elite
Travel: Expedia

The Team Name

So, the moment you've all been waiting for - and fans of the team have probably guessed what is coming: the team name and nation. We can confirm for ease of operations we will continue under a New Zealand license at least through 2022, particularly given South African and Rwandan teams already exist in the PCT. We will also continue with our secondary license being South African.

On the first point, you will have noticed there was no title sponsor mentioned in the post. However, due to the amount of sponsors in the primary and secondary tiers we can operate under our nickname, from the name of our long-time team management company. Introducing...

Loved Xero as a title sponsor, but this is a pretty awesome composure too!
PCM.daily Awards:
Most Improved Member '16 // MG New Manager '16 // Thread of the Year (PCT Roundtable Analysis) '17 '18 '19 '21 // Most Helpful Member '18 '19 '20 // MG Team of the Year (Isostar - Adriatic) '18 '21 // MG Manager of the Year '18 '19 // Member of the Year '19

Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
Most Improved Team 2018 & 2019 // Manager of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 // Team of the Year 2021
Qhubeka is a great choice as a main sponsor. Visit Rwanda is obviously the most relevant one from our perspective. I suppose more interest in developing Rwandan cyclists will only help both of us, so I don't mind it. Certainly ignites this rivalry a bit Wink Also, interesting naming choice. I hope the new jersey can fill the big footsteps of the Xero ones!
Reminder everyone to vote in the Fan's Rider of the Year poll!
@Croatia - Yeah I have a huge attachment and fondness for Xero and I always wanted to be a one-sponsor team for life, but I really have struggled more and more to justify them continuing to sponsor us with next to no Kiwis and not really looking like any coming through. Maybe one day they can return to the top billing if Finn Fisher-Black turns around the talent drought - or if I pull a TMM maybe his sister is more likely to be a star Pfft

@cunego - Absolutely I don't think we will be stepping on your toes enough to be a huge annoyance in such a small country (aside from locking up the main star I suppose), but certainly would love a hand in continuing the development there. And for sure, looking forward to being in a division with not one but two African teams for the first ever time Grin And we'll have to wait and see Wink
Always a fan of team names based on other factors! Always a fan of managers trying to sneak women into the game! Pfft
@TMM - Glad you're a fan! And yeah, if one of us could get Niamh Fisher-Black in it would probably be a great get for New Zealand cycling Grin
Always an exciting time with new sponsors coming in. Great combination of sponsors too to take the team forward. Also, with Pidcock taking a massive step towards realizing his full potential, along with a handful of other tasty talents, lots of stuff is happening behind the scenes at Xero. All the best with the rebuild and looking forward to what else is in store for the new season Smile
@Abhishek - Absolutely, huge buzz around the team moving forward, hopefully we nail this year to help the transition (not going so far as to say rebuild but I guess we see how transfers go) as you said Smile Indeed excited for Pidcock, like a toy I can't wait to get my hands on (especially if he has to get loaned out for another year lol) and the other talents a lot. Even with three leaders over 30 we have Higuita and Habtemichael maxing now, Stannard and Fouche maxing next year, Pidcock the next and Vermeersch the next as well as core pieces Nikiema, Kipkemboi and Hamza on the way, so the transition between the Bennett-Rowe-Houle-Debesay-Meurisse and the Areruya-Higuita-Stannard-Pidcock-Vermeersch eras should be very smooth Smile

2021 Team Awards

It is now time for our team awards winners to be announced - but first the results of our fan-voted award. Voted by you all over the last few days, our prestigious Octagon Fan's Rider of the Year award. The fans voted and there were a few contenders but in the end it was a streak-breaking result, as we have a new winner for the first time in five years. The man who broke it?
Joseph Areruya
2nd: Sergio Higuita
3rd: Hugo Houle

Now for the rider and staff-voted official team awards. First up is our Wheelworks Young Rider of the Year. With Areruya ineligible now his streak of three wins must be broken, but by who Chris Kamara?
Sergio Higuita

Now the Qhubeka Loan-Out of the Year for the best-performing Xero rider out on loan. Two candidates this year, both riding for Project: Africa in the PCT. Both had great productive years in their development, but one of them had a big year of results, coming in the Top 150 of the individual standings in his debut year.
Thomas Pidcock

Moving on now to our Econet Ride of the Year. This is an award for the most impressive individual ride on any given day. Usually it goes to a big, important and aggressive ride or victory and this year is no different - but with four notable contenders that surely doesn't give it away.

We now move on to the My Food Bag Breakaway Rider of the Year. Many contenders this year with many breakaways, and some found results in multiple succesful escapes. However one man did that, including a win, lead the team in total breakaways, and won a King of the Mountains jersey. For his second win of this award...
Sergio Higuita

And now we move on to the final award of the evening: the Xero Rider of the Year. After all the riders and staff had submitted their vote, it came down to the same trio as the Fan's award: Areruya, Houle and Higuita. And then it came down to two, and then it came down to one - clear gaps between each position. What was the order?
Joseph Areruya
2nd: Hugo Houle
3rd: Sergio Higuita

And that's a wrap! Thanks to you all for tuning in for a memorable year on the biggest stage for Xero Racing, it's been a pleasure to share this season with you, and thanks so much for your support of this team. See you all next season, as Xero successfully keep their entire PT squad after relegation and add Sam Bewley, and we find out which senior rider is Sergio Higuita's real father.
Great awards and some well deserved winners!
PCM.daily Awards:
Most Improved Member '16 // MG New Manager '16 // Thread of the Year (PCT Roundtable Analysis) '17 '18 '19 '21 // Most Helpful Member '18 '19 '20 // MG Team of the Year (Isostar - Adriatic) '18 '21 // MG Manager of the Year '18 '19 // Member of the Year '19

Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
Most Improved Team 2018 & 2019 // Manager of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 // Team of the Year 2021
I can only second Croatia! And wow, Areruya, Higuita and Pidcock is a sensational trio to have to lead the line for several, several seasons. Will be interesting to see how you adjust to the PCT this year.
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