09/04/2011 - Cycling Southland will field a road team for a second year after a pleasing debut season.
The H & J Smith Outdoor World team will look to build on the experience gained last season, team manager Ross Machejefski said.
It is yet to be seen whether the Benchmark Series, which combined several South Island road races into one series, will continue this season.
The Southland team will start next weekend with a double-header on the West Coast , followed by the Tour de Lakes at over Easter.
The team has a similar look to last year's, with Dillon Bennett, who has since signed with the Subway racing team, the main departure.
New Zealand junior representative Sophie Williamson, from Alexandra, will be joining the team alongside Sequoia Cooper.
Cam Karwowski is racing with the New Zealand development team in Belgium but he should be back to race in the Outdoor World colours later in the season, Machejefski said.
Team member Hamish Presbury, 20, said last season's racing had been invaluable.
"It was awesome, a big learning curve," he said.
Not only had the Southland team benefited from regular racing, but the riders had also learnt about operating in a team.
It is hoped the Benchmark Series will restart after winter but if it doesn't the Outdoor World team will still take part in several classic South Island events.
Lachie Shannon (on-road captain), Marcel Baird, Pieter Bulling, Brehan Cairns, Cam Karwowski, Hamish Presbury, Hamish Tomlinson, Matt Zenovich, Sequoia Cooper, Sophie Williamson.
- The Southland Times