Share the Road will be without world championship representative Jack Bauer this year but still holds lofty ambitions for this year's Tour of Southland.
The team will be led by seven-time Tour of Southland rider Jeremy Yates, who finished third behind four-time winner Hayden Roulston and Bauer in last year's dramatic PowerNet-sponsored race.
Yates will be joined by veteran sprinter Karl Murray, Chris Macic, who has been achieving plenty of podium results in Belgium this season, and former Tour stage winner Justin Kerr.
Brett Tivers, who has been racing – and winning – in the United States and Canada this season, and Tom David, who recently competed for New Zealand in the World U23 Road and Time Trial Championships, will also join the team this year.
Although team and individual success is very much at the forefront of the riders' minds, so too is the message that the Share the Road team promotes – and that has played a large role in the team continuing to attract high-quality riders.
"I'm really looking forward to riding for Share the Road again this year. It's a fantastic team environment and we're helping to spread such an important message to the community," Yates said.
"Cyclists are so vulnerable out there on the roads and it's up to everyone to ensure our roads are shared safely."
The Share the Road programme is funded by Road Safety Southland and delivered by Sport Southland. It is designed to increase awareness of the Share the Road message, promote safe cycling and the benefits to youngsters from cycling.
The annual Share the Road roadshow will again visit schools throughout Southland in the lead-up to the Tour, highlighting the importance of safe cycling.
Sport Southland general manager Brendon McDermott, who plays a lead role in organising and managing the team, said the Share the Road concept was important for Southlanders.
"It's great that in recent years we have grown into a strong and highly competitive team," he said.
"The riders we have for this year's team are not only extremely talented, but off the bike they're enthusiastic and keen to promote messages of cycling safety throughout the Southland community, which is great.
"Last year, through the roadshow, we took the Share the Road message to more than 5000 school-aged children ... and we're hoping to do the same this year."
Spreading messages of cycling safety and promoting cycling to young Southlanders are top priority for the team, and it's something the cyclists themselves are more than happy to endorse. "The Share the Road message is very important," Tivers said.
"We cyclists spend up to 30 hours a week on a bike and have to deal with the interaction of vehicles and cyclists every day. It's important for all road users to be aware of each other on the roads."