What's Cool In Road Cycling

New Roles for Dave McPartland and Gene Bates Within GreenEDGE Organisation

Two products of the Cycling Australia (CA) coaching development program will take on new roles within the GreenEDGE organisation next year. Sport Director Dave McPartland, who has directed the women’s team since its inception, will move into a sport director position in the men’s program. Gene Bates, the head cycling coach at the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, will take over McPartland’s former position with ORICA-AIS.

“It was a huge surprise to be offered this position, and it’s a dream come true to move onto a WorldTour team,” added McPartland. “I’m reasonably familiar with most of the management, staff and riders at ORICA-GreenEDGE, so I don’t feel like I’m going somewhere completely new. I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter for myself.”

McPartland’s association with both the national team and the women’s program made him an obvious choice when General Manager Shayne Bannan and National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta sought out an additional Sport Director for ORICA-GreenEDGE. Both Bannan and Tabotta expressed their confidence in McPartland’s ability to thrive within Australia’s only WorldTour team.

“Dave has been an excellent contributor to Cycling Australia’s cycling programs over the past four years,” said Tabotta. “I have watched his solid progress as both coach and team director, and I’m pleased to support his transition to this new role. Dave is a product of the CA coaching development system, including his start in the AIS scholarship coaching program. I’m confident Dave will continue to play an important part in the delivery of winning performances by Australian athletes at the international level.”

“We obviously have a really good relationship with Cycling Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS),” added Bannan. “We’ve watched Dave’s development within both organizations over the past four or five years. We believe that he’s become a very good sport director. His rapport with the athletes is one of his biggest strengths and one we look forward to him leveraging with our men’s team.”

Although his transition to the men’s team should be fairly seamless, McPartland admits will miss working with the women’s team. To date, McPartland has directed the women’s squad to 38 victories.

“I’m really proud that I’ve been able to work with such a talented, diverse range of girls,” said McPartland. “I’m thrilled with the results we’ve achieved over the last two years. In the grand scheme of things, we’re a new team. Most new teams don’t have so much success from the start.”

“Beyond the results, we have an incredible team culture,” McPartland added. “We’re the best team in the world as far as our team environment, and I’m really proud of that, too. I’m very sad to be leaving this sort of group despite my excitement about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

McPartland was happy to learn that Bates accepted the job offer and feels assured of a smooth transition in large part due to Bates’ background. Bates raced on the road professionally in Europe before beginning his coaching career. He studied sports science and teaching at university while working with the AIS and CA for two years in a coaching scholarship whilst completing his post-graduate diploma in coaching at University of Queensland.

Following his studies and scholarship position, Bates took over as the Head Cycling Coach at the Tasmanian Institute of Sport. He has served as the endurance coach for the Junior National Track team for the past two years, where he coached the junior women at the Track World Championships last year and the junior men at the same event this year.

“Cycling Australia is pleased to welcome Gene Bates to the Sport Director position for the ORICA-AIS women’s team for the 2014 season and beyond,” said Tabotta. “He is the ideal candidate for the position, having been developed through the AIS coaching scholarship. Gene’s knowledge of European cycling through his experiences as both athlete and coach will accelerate his adaption in the role and help him build on the success of ORICA-AIS.”

“I’m really excited to be working with such a great organisation and group of motivated people,” said Bates. “I want to extend many thanks to the team’s sponsors for their continued support in an area of cycling that will hopefully only get bigger and more competitive. I can’t wait for the 2104 season to begin!”

Bates highlighted the team’s current success and expressed his enthusiasm about the ways in which he can further develop the women’s program.

“The team has already had many results and victories,” noted Bates. “Tiffany Cromwell’s win at Het Neuwsblad, Shara Gillow’s fourth overall at the Giro Rosa, Emma Johansson’s overall victory at Thüringen – the list goes on and on! I think one of the team’s most significant achievement is how consistent they’ve been in their success over a large range of events. It highlights the team’s versatility.”

“Commitment towards continued growth and development of any program in competition, training and other areas is important to me,” Bates continued “I’d like to think I will bring my own experiences and methods that will build upon our current practices. Combined with a clear vision established around performance goals and the development of women at the highest level of the sport, I hope we continue to build one of the most successful women’s teams in the world.”

While the staffing changes and new hire are significant, Bannan is well aware that his staff’s ability to be successful is hinged upon the tools they are given to do their jobs well.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to Gerry Ryan for his continued strong commitment to this program, recently extended through the 2016 season,” said Bannan. “These hiring decisions are part of our long term vision for both of our teams, and we thank Gerry for supporting a management structure that allows us to solidify and develop both of our teams with long-range objectives in mind.”

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