As most members would now be aware Oliver (Ollie) Kent-Spark has fulfilled a lifelong dream recently signing his first pro contract with Irish registered UCI Continental team An Post-Chain Reaction Sean Kelly Cycling. The team was founded by Irish Cycling Legend Sean Kelly in 2006. Many would know recognise Sean’s distinctive voice and commentary style on some of Europe’s biggest one day races.
Ollie will be teaming up at An Post-Chain Reaction Sean Kelly Cycling with long-time friend, past Herald Sun Tour winner Calvin Watson. Calvin has raced the past few seasons at Trek Factory Racing. Ollie is now enjoying his last few weeks training down under before he heads overseas early in January. Ollie will be racing the National Championships in the services of Calvin on the 10th of January at Buninyong. This is a great opportunity to cheer Ollie before heads OS.
Once Ollie arrives in Europe he will head straight into a training camp in Calpe Spain. At this early stage Ollie is unsure of what his racing programme is going to look like. However with the squad competing in race such as Belgian semi-classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Tour of Britain this year we are sure to see Ollie competing on the highest stage in 2016.
Ollie signing with AnPost Chain Reaction is on the back of a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to the sport. He has juggled study at Deakin, part time work and hundreds of kilometres a week to realise his dream. He went within a few meters of winning back to back Melbourne to Warnambool’s in 2015 after taking the title in 2014. Second in Australia’s hardest one day race the 2014 Grafton to Inverall classic, has certainly justified his place at the next level of the sport.
Ollie’s presence at GCC races & events whenever he can has always been appreciated. He is a great inspiration for the younger members of the club. So much so that one of the junior riders who recently took a tumble at track and had to go to hospital for treatment was approached by a nurse with scissors to cut off his kit, Ollie’s old kit. Fuelled by the magic of the green pen the junior cried out, “You’re not going to cut this kit”!! “Do you know whose kit this was”? “Ollie Kent-Sparks”!! Rightly, the kit was saved.
We will keep you post on how you can follow Ollie through the 2016 European season.
On behalf of everyone at the Geelong Cycling Club we wish Ollie all the very best next. If you have the opportunity to head up to Ballarat to cheer him on in his last race, please do.