THE allure of riding in National Road Series (NRS) events with a locally-based team was all it took for Warrnambool cyclist Mark Scouller to put pen to paper.
After a couple of guest rides with the Anchor Point South Coast Cycling team, Scouller has been added to the full-time roster for this season.
The fledgling team gained a National Road Series licence this year and Scouller said that being able to live and train in Warrnambool close to family was what made him sign up.
“I’d been in Melbourne riding for the Seight team in a development squad,” he said.
“I rode the Tour of The Great South Coast and the Melbourne to Warrnambool with the South Coast team.
“I said I wanted to ride NRS and (team owner) Andrew Lindsey said come and join us.”
He said the team rode the second National Road Series event of the season, the Tour of Adelaide, earlier this month and hoped to ride a few more of the local NRS tours later in the year.
“The Tour of Adelaide was tough, but it was great experience for us all,” he said.
“We’ll do the Tour of the Great South Coast in August, then the Tour of Gippsland, The Melbourne to Warrnambool and the Grafton to Inverell.
“Hopefully we might be able to get to the Tour of Tasmania if the budget allows.”
This weekend Scouller will line up in the Anchor Point colours for the Victorian Road Series Tour of the South West alongside Portland’s Dylan Lindsay, Horsham’s Allan and Todd Satchell and Hamilton’s Clive Silcock.
It will be the third year the team had been represented in the tour, which continues to grow in popularity.
He said other team members, Warrnambool’s Sam Lane and Port Fairy’s Nathan McLaren, would line up with the Horsham Cyclery team.
“Horsham Cyclery sponsor us, so they have put the other guys into their team for this event,” he said.
“It’s great because it means none of us miss out.”
Scouller rode the inaugural Tour of the South West in 2012 but missed last year’s action because of illness.
He said he wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend.
“It’s a tough course that can be made even tougher in certain weather conditions,” he said.
“I missed last year, but heard the wind was incredible. You just don’t know what to expect. The weather will play a huge part in it.
“We won’t lay out any plans as a team until we see what it’s going to be like.”
The Anchor Point South Coast team is one of 13 registered for this weekend’s three-stage tour, with 385 cyclists competing across nine grades.
It features a road race and time trial on Saturday at Wangoom, with a criterium in Warrnambool on Sunday.