The Black Spoke cycling team. (Source: Sunday) New Zealand sport owes a fair bit to sports fans who have deep pockets. People whose passion leads them to take a punt, put their money where their mouth is, whatever you want to call it.
Murray Bolton, an Auckland rich-lister who discovered cycling in his 40s and decided road cyclists are a rare and precious breed, is one of those punters. The kind of athlete that can’t hide behind raw talent, the kind of athlete that needs to put in the work to get the real reward.
But admiring a sport is one thing, parting with millions of your own money to grow the sport in this country is something entirely different.
Black Spoke began in 2020 as a cycling academy, a way to help young Kiwi riders get to Europe and bigger and better contracts.
Bolton initially looked at buying a World Tour team but that kind of money made even the man who NBR values at $400 million’s eyes water, so along with former pro cyclist Scott Guyton, he started his own. Majority Kiwi riders, majority Kiwi support crew, fully Kiwi-funded. This year they’ve moved up to the second tier Pro Tour – it’s a spot that’s been earned by results but a spot that doesn’t come cheap.
Last month in Geelong, Australia they became the first New Zealand team to ever ride at a prestigious World Tour race.
In a peloton of teams made up of hired guns, riders out for themselves and whatever […]
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