Lars Petter Nordhaug to lead new Irish Pro Continental team
Former Irish Olympic cyclist and World Track Champion, Martyn Irvine officially announced his signing for Aqua Blue Sport – Ireland’s first Professional Continental cycling team established by Irish businessman Rick Delaney.
He and Matt Brammeier who will represent Ireland at the upcoming UCI World Road Championships, and Conor Dunne, will join team leader Lars Petter Nordhaug in the Aqua Blue Sport squad for the 2017 season. The remaining riders will be confirmed in coming weeks.
Delaney, originally hailing from Cork, has a long term vision for Aqua Blue Sport. He has guaranteed financial backing for the team for four years, with rolling two year contracts for the riders. By removing the added burden of financial uncertainty, his aim is to create a rewarding team culture with athlete welfare firmly at its heart.
Delaney commented: “I fell in love with cycling decades ago so this is a personal passion of mine. By removing the financial insecurity so often associated with cycling teams, my hope is to create a team environment that will see athletes thrive, and in turn positively impact on performances.”
The Team Aqua Blue Sport riders will be supported by a top tier backroom team composed of team Director of Performance Operations, Leigh Bryan, Dr. Alan Farrell as Team Doctor, former Irish international cyclist Stephen Barrett as Director of Athletic Performance and Nicki Sørensen, formerly of Team Tinkoff-Saxo and Tim Barry as Sporting Directors. Stephen Moore will serve as General Manager.
The ultimate goal for Aqua Blue Sport is to participate at a World Tour level by year four and compete in the Tour de France, but for now sights are firmly set on the 2017 Professional Continental season which hopefully will include races such as Milan-San Remo, Amstel Gold and the Tour of Britain. Aqua Blue Sport have also been invited to attend the launch of the 2017 Tour de France by event organisers ASO.
Speaking about being signed by Aqua Blue Sport, Nordhaug said: “Since the first time I have spoken with the team I have been really impressed with the way they think, with their approach to managing the team and with the entire philosophy behind it. At this stage in my career I really believe that this philosophy will help me to be the best rider I can be and to focus on delivering the performances that I know are in me. That’s why I chose to join Aqua Blue Sport.”