Support for up-and-coming cyclists to purse sporting goals

Three up-and-coming Western Australian cycling stars, including two from the South West of the state, are pursuing their sporting goals thanks to the generous support of the local business community.

Bunbury-based BHR Papalia and Fitzroys Cycles have come on board to ensure Connor Lambert, Darcy Pirotta and JP Van de Merwe from the 225 Racing Cycle Club are able to compete in Europe this season.

Based in the Belgian city of Ronse, the trio have the honour of representing racing team Mysenlan-Baboco-Douterloigne CT.

Members of the outfit ─ comprising athletes from Belgium as well as international talents ─ are competing in under-23 and UCI events across countries such as Belgium, Netherlands and Norway.

For Lambert, a 20-year-old Bunbury resident who has benefited from being part of the South West Academy of Sport, his second European campaign will hopefully open doors.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to race the level of racing we can, and race against some of the best under-23 riders in the world,” Lambert said.

Twenty-year-old Van de Merwe, who also hails from Bunbury, said his time in Europe would provide valuable experience.

“It’s an opportunity to get some experience racing in bigger races and against better riders,” Van de Merwe said.

BHR Papalia director Hugh McDonnell said he was pleased to be able to support the pursuit of excellence in sport.

“We want to see young, talented people get an opportunity to see how far they can go, to explore their potential and see if they can make it to the top level,” Mr McDonnell said.

“These are the sort of things that don’t come along often, so they have to be grabbed while they can.”