Tasmanian Institute of Sport Racing Team coach Matt Gilmore has set some lofty goals for his charges this season.
The team unveiled its 2018 line-up and launched its National Road Series campaign in Launceston on Thursday with three national guest riders to join the development program for the first time.
The men’s team will be co-lead by Penguin’s Jacob Langham and Launceston’s Zack Gilmore, while the returning Georgia Baker will spearhead the women’s charge alongside Lauren Perry.
Baker has replaced the departed Macey Stewart with Kristina Clonan (Queensland) and Ruby Rose-Gannon (Victoria) drafted in to help them improve on an impressive 2017.
Coach Matthew Gilmore said he wants the women to achieve a top-four overall NRS finish, five stage podiums and have two riders ranked in the top 10.
“If we could emulate what we did last year and get another invitation to the Tour Down Under – that would be a fantastic result for us,” he said.
“Having Georgia Baker come back into the team gives us so many options… [while] Madeleine (Fasnacht) and Anya (Louw) are terrific time trailers and climbers.
“The most important thing for us last year was how they worked as a team with nobody just out for themselves.”
Meanwhile, Gilmore said it was time for the men to deliver results – preferably a top 12 NRS finish overall, three stage podiums and one rider transition to a higher NRS team.
Gilmore said he retained a large portion of last season’s men’s team due to the fact it generally takes longer for them to succeed.
“This has been a long-time project, but I’m hoping this year we start to pick the fruits of that labour with some having been in the team now for three years,” he said.
“I will be leaning on them a bit more and the expectations for them to perform will rise as well. Their apprenticeship is done and now they have to put it into action.”
Hobart’s Sam Mounter and North-West Coasters Dalton Stretton and Liam Brown were also named inaugural mentoring program members.
Gilmore said the under-15 trio would each be paired with a TIS Racing Team mentor.
“It was a bit of a brainchild of mine when I was flying back from Rio Olympics and looking at different ways of going about engaging kids on bikes,” he said.
“And that was through the Strava ID challenge where I set up three regional segments that kids could ride over the school holidays.
“That developed a leader board and we invited kids to come in and test and then we selected three athletes.”
The women start their season with the Battle Recharge in Queensland on July 27, while the men get underway on August 15 with the Tour of the Great South Coast.