Buller part of new U23 team

Louise McDowell

Reporter:

Louise McDowell

Banbridge cyclist John Buller has joined a new Irish Under 23 development ‘Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services’ which is set to challenge the British-based teams in the season’s major road race events.

The new Irish Under 23 team made up of international riders including a number of Irish national champions, is planning a full season on the road including the British Elite men’s road race series.

Being a new team, they are keen to make a positive impression on all the races they enter and are being well guided by former riders who have been there and done the business in cycling.

The team’s general manager is a former Under 23 himself, Tim Cassidy, who had the world at his feet at one point but injury brought his cycling career to a halt, and now he’s investing his time into helping others from his native Ireland to fulfil their potential.

And 19-year-old John Buller, who joined Banbridge Cycling Club in 2007 at the young age of eight, is one of them.

John had continued wins on the MTB Scene winning four Irish National MTB Championships between 2007 and 2014.

With his first year as a junior in 2016, John started to take road racing a bit more seriously and he rode the Junior Tour of Ireland in 2017 as a second year Junior with Cycling Ulster winning stage two and stage seven which made him a green points jersey holder for three days.

John has gone from strength to strength proving his ability to win or be placed in top 10 positions.

It was no surprise when Team Bioracer - DHL -FR Services approached John to see if he was interested in being part of their new U23 team.

Tim Cassidy, general manager, told Toni Mornington from Banbridge Cycling Club that he set up the team originally in 2017 with the help of two friends from Dublin Derek Stenson and Liam Cullen and slowly brought it onto where it is now. This year he asked good friend Stephen Gallagher to come on board to help with the high performance/ coaching end with his company Digdeep coaching.

Tim said: “We were delighted to have John Buller in our team for the 2019 season. We had a three year plan in place to develop an U23 International Irish team but based at home where we provide a structured environment to help our Irish riders gain international experience and guide them up the international/ professional ladder.

“There’s a fantastic opportunity with Britain’s elite amateur and pro-cycling scene to provide a quality race calendar from home with the advantage of being able to keep our Irish riders together and develop them both as a team/ individual.

“The standard of races in the Britain will also offer these riders further opportunity to progress into bigger teams as they gain experience.

“It was important to build a diverse squad of riders strong enough to field eight riders in the British National series races where we have carefully picked the best riders in the country who we think will excel in this environment.

“John was a key rider to have within the team where he brings a very big engine and his fast finish. He impressed me immensely last year as a first year U23 along with his success at junior level.

“He had an incredibly strong showing in the Tour of Ulster placing in the top ten amongst some of Ireland’s best senior and international riders. In what was an extremely difficult race he dealt with the longer distance and terrain like some of our more senior established riders in the country.

“Banbridge CC has a strong history in Irish cycling and has always produced some of the best riders to have come out of Ireland and our team offers that next step for a rider like John who is also full time in university. It is great to have support from such a club and we hope that the rest of Irish cycling can get behind the team going forward.

“To run such a programme is extremely costly and something of a challenge but we have four key sponsors that have come together to make this happen. Onimpex Bioracer UK have a great history supporting Irish cycling and will provide some of the most technically advanced clothing on the market. DHL Global Forwarding Ireland and JHI Distribution Ireland are key sponsors who are continuing with us in 2019 offering financial, equipment, and nutrition sponsorship.

“Frank Roche Services, a Cork-based air conditioning company have also come on board with financial sponsorship and together have helped create something very exciting going forward where we hope to grow the team further each year.”

Exciting times ahead for John and the rest of the team as they hit big International goals in April/May.

BCC wishes John every success with his new team for the forthcoming racing season we know he will give it 100 per cent.

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