Albany star Craig Wiggins has joined the Australian Cycling Academy in a bid to further pursue his dream of becoming a professional cyclist.
After years of competing at national and international level from his home in Albany, Wiggins will officially move to the Sunshine Coast today and has made a mid-season transfer, switching from St George Continental team to the ACA.
The move came about after recommendation from reigning Australian road-race champion Michael Freiberg.
Freiberg set him up with the opportunity to join the ACA and Wiggins says it is the right move to further his career on two wheels.
“With everything going on in the world, just having a little bit of racing over east it seemed like a good time to switch and the opportunity came up, so we went for it,” Wiggins said.
“I’m pretty excited to move over there; there’s some pretty big names back in the team and a lot of the management have ridden the world tour like the Tour De France, the Giro, the Paris-Roubaix all the big events in the world.
“So to have them guys kind of guide me through my cycling journey, I’m pretty keen to get that started.
“It’s just another stepping stone in the right direction, so hopefully this brings bigger opportunities in the future.”
The ACA is an elite training academy combining high-performance, tertiary study and professional mentoring and compete in a comprehensive national and international racing program.
The two-time Albany Sportsperson of the Year hopes the current world situation calms down, so he can target certain races.
He has already set some short-term goals next year and has his eyes set on races in the more distant future.
“The academy has a lot more links to the world tour teams, there are more opportunities racing in Europe providing what the world circumstances is next year and just more racing around the world,” the 21-year-old said.
“In the long term, I really want to be good at those European classic races, those long 200km one-day events; that’s kind of where I see myself wanting to be.”
“Hopefully, I can tick off the little races between now and then.”
Although Wiggins is excited about the move, he said he was going to miss his home town.
“Obviously it is a little sad to be leaving the home town,” he said.
“Albany has given me a lot of opportunities and is a great place to train for cycling in summer.
“I’ll definitely be wanting to come back for a visit now and then but for now, it’s onwards and upwards.”