THIS Sunday's Baw Baw Classic will be another crucial leg in the development of the Feelgood-backed Regional Academy Cycling Excellence squad.
A busy road calendar for the RACE squad in 2014 will include the Tour of South West, Phillip Island Grand Prix, Victoria Country championships, and Bendigo's tour of central Victoria.
RACE is also gearing up for the Victorian 100km championship, Rob Vernon Memorial, Sam Miranda, Midlands Tour, Stratford to Dargo, and the Tour of Bright.
The not-for-profit RACE is based in Bendigo.
A major goal is assist in the development of young cyclists from throughout regional Victoria on and off the bike.
The team is Mark Jamieson, Tim Hucker, Luke Drummond, Peter Ladd, Luke Knox, Aidan Bowe, Sam Fuhrmeister, Lachlan Jones, Lachlan Goode, Joel Fahy, Jacob Bast, Robert Oakenful, Ash Harvey, Hugh Beaton, Mark Flood, Tom Floyd, James Hampson and Nic Simpson.
There are several mentors for the talented youngsters.
RACE will help provide access to world-class cycling coaches, assist with providing access to health and well being education; provide a structured mentor program; and provide assistance to attend races locally, interstate and/or internationally
The team at RACE has a strategic alliance with the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Academy of Sport.
Sponsors of the RACE program are Feelgood Fitness, Champion Systems, Bendigo Insurance Brokers, El Gordo Cafe, Brougham Arms Hotel, Focus Bikes, Boltons, Bartercard, and Lazer Helmets.
A major goal for RACE is selection of riders into a National Road Series team.
Bendigo's Jack Haig, now racing with Avanti, was the NRS champion in 2013.
There are 67 riders on the A-grade list for the Baw Baw Classic which starts in Warragul.
The five riders from RACE in Sunday's event are Kyle Lierich, Aidan Bowe, Sam Fuhrmeister, Lachlan Jones and Robert Oakenfull.
The striking black and green kit will be seen in many road and track races as the year rolls on.