When Bendigo cyclist Connor Sens received an offer to ride for the Zappi Racing Team, it was a no-brainer.
The 21-year-old had been applying to several teams and when he saw that Zappi was looking for riders, he sent in an application and before he knew it, he received the green light.
He quickly got the paperwork in order and is now set for the next stage of his career, racing in Europe.
"My main focus has been trying to get into the European scene because that's where racing will really take off next year," Sens said.
"This is a huge step."
Sens was starting to have doubts about racing in 2021 as with all that's going it had been hard to post results to catch the interest of teams.
However, it's all irrelevant now as come January next year he is on his way to Europe.
"I am stoked that Zappi wanted me as it was proving quite hard to find a team," he said.
Sens is currently undertaking his carpentry apprenticeship but will put it on hold.
Upon arrival overseas he will kick off with a six-week training camp with Zappi where he will meet his fellow teammates and prepare for the season.
It's going to be a big move from Bendigo to Italy, but by chance Sens has already got mates on his new team, Theo Gilbertson (NZ).
"I was quite surprised when I saw his name, we shared accommodation while I was racing in America and I was able to get to know him quite well," he said.
"As an Aussie it's going to be great to have a New Zealander on the team."
He will be based on Italy's Adriatic coast at Pescara, but will be racing throughout Europe for the cycling season which wraps up around October.
One thing that's for certain is that it's going to be a challenging experience for Sens, but he is more than ready for it.
"For sure I am ready for the challenge," he said.
"As a last year under-23 this is a make or break season and I am going into it knowing that I am going to give it everything.
"This is my best opportunity to get recognised as a rider.
"It's going to be tough riding against some great cyclists, but I am up for a challenge.
"I've been training pretty hard and I am looking forward to seeing my improvements on the bike."
Sens is just one of many Bendigo-born riders who have made the move to Europe in search of building their careers on the world cycling stage.
"There's a few Bendigo riders already over in Europe and I'd say during one of our breaks we will all catch up," he said.
Zappi Racing Team is a junior, under-23 and men's racing squad named after former-professional now elite coach Flavio Zappi.
The team's goal is to keep the best riders as a foundation for building Zappi's success in the UK and Europe with an outlook to support and sustain racing success based on its ethos of healthy living, good diet and close-up coaching.
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