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LACHLAN DAVIDSON.

Lachlan Davidson, 30, is a gear nerd, a fan of the aesthetics of cycling whose own style is enduring and unrelenting. He regrets not pursuing a professional sporting career and admits to some creative licence in recounting races. Married and working as a full-time marketer, Lachlan’s earliest cycling memory is a vivid one. At the age of 12, he competed in a local cross country mountain bike race, one he approached as if it was the World Championships. Being swamped on the start line and then lapped by a certain Cadel Evans remain strong memories. Lachlan enjoys a big loop around Emerald in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria and would love to tick off some of the big European Cols. Riding makes him ‘a better person to be with at home and in the office’. A fan of the Belgian rider Tom Boonen, he describes his teammates as: ‘Sam is as organised as Adam is efficient as Mark is hilarious as Dan is easy going’ while he appreciates the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into a modern steel frame. ‘A steel bike feels more like a ‘forever’ than a seasonal purchase.’ Wishing he had more foresight, Lachlan has a tendency to start phrases with ‘I imagine that….’, and would be reborn as a golden retriever.

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ADAM VERSTEEGE.

Often found dreaming of gaining telepathic powers or becoming a fighter pilot, Adam Versteege, 36, a rouleur all-rounder divides his time between Sydney and Melbourne. With a young family and full-time job as a rail engineer, Adam sacrifices sleep, binges on coffee and sneaks out of the house early to crack on with his 10-14 hours of grinding on tarmac each week. His first major ride was the 1995 Great Victorian Bike Ride but it took him another 15 years before he took the sport seriously. The Acheron Way and Don Valley are his favourite climbs and he admires both the legendary Italian campionissimo Fausto Coppi and the aggressive but affable German rider Jens Voigt. Riding for Stinner ‘represents the grassroots of bicycle raw materials. When coupled with 21st century technology, steel is still a truly comparable alternative to carbon.’ Without committing to who is who, his teammates are: ‘Intensely passionate, big kid, tinkerer and a joker’. Keeping it rubber side down after a rapid deflation on a super fast descent, is Adam’s most treasured, or fortunate, cycling memory. In a future life he would return as an eagle – ‘top of the food chain and with the best views of the world’.

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SAM GIFFORD.

Melbourne native Sam Gifford, 34, is Black Sheep | Stinner’s road captain. He describes himself as an ‘aggressive all-rounder who lacks self-control’, and loves pushing his Stinner to its limits. After purchasing his first road bike at university, Sam’s first ride was a 160km solo ride down the Victorian coastline with only a sandwich in his back packet. It didn’t end well. Today, thanks to a supportive partner, he makes the most of early mornings to knock out up to 20 hours a week, enjoying the intimate connection between pushing hard and his own physicality. Placing in the top-20 at the Australian Elite Time Trial Championships is his crown achievement (so far!) while Alton Road, the “secret” back road up Mount Macedon near his family home is a favourite ride – ‘narrow, steep, hidden and beautiful’. Sam fears a lack of purpose, wishes he could say ‘no’ more often, admires the passion of Greg LeMond and treasures his coffee machine. His teammates are: ‘disciplined and organized (Adam); all about the details (Dan); the best looking man in Victorian cycling (Lach); class clown meets powerhouse rider (Mark)’. In another life, this conservative but sartorial-styled lawyer by day dreams of throwing in the corporate towel and becoming a winemaker.
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DAN PICKERING.

Dan Pickering, 32, spends too much on on exotic bike parts and wonders why his teammates are so obsessed with sculpting their hair. He loves rocking a plain grey T-shirt with a pocket. A Kiwi residing in Melbourne, Dan’s cycling memories stretch back to his youth when he scooted down the drive as a toddler on a plastic block of a bike. His fondest memories are riding with buddies during the school holidays in the national forests ‘doing sweet jumps and skids’. Today with a wife and three-month year old and a career in sales and marketing – conveniently in the cycling world – Dan manages 8-10 hours per week, with a preference for a fast-paced ‘quality over quantity’ ride followed by ‘good banter and coffee’. A seemingly winning regime as last year he reached the category for highest domestic level of rider in Australia. A Fausto Coppi admirer, Dan’s favourite roads are offered in South Australia and the Stinner partnership offers ‘a quality ride and satisfaction of proving steel can mix it with any carbon bike’. Dan admires Barack Obama, would love to have absolute confidence talking in front of large crowds and his most treasured possessions are his grandfather’s paintings. A relaxed individual, Dan would come back as a palm tree on an island beach in the Pacific.

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MARK FAGG.

Mark Fagg, 32, is Geelong-born and bred, and a self-confessed low cadence grinder, who describes himself as ‘surf dude crossed with geek’. Combining his work in retail and a university course, Mark manages an impressive 12-15 hours a week of pedalling, a passion nurtured in 2011 following a serious injury which curtailed his motocross career. Fast forward five years and Mark’s most treasured possession is his bike and idea of happiness a ride with good friends. Good friends which include his Stinner teammates. ‘They are a great group of guys who just want to ride bikes and enjoy doing it.’ Competing on a Stinner-steel bike offers ‘something different’. Mark’s favourite climb is Skenes Creek near Apollo Bay while the Tour de France’s mythical 21-turn Alpe d’Huez is an ascent he’d love to repeat. Perhaps in tandem with his cycling hero Tony Martin with whom he feels an affinity. Completing the classic Melbourne to Warrnambool – some 280km and the world’s second oldest one-day race – together with winning an open time trial remain his most significant cycling achievements. A cyclist with no regrets, Mark’s admits to a weakness for coffee, a fear of drowning, a desire to become a more confident public speaker and a preference for reincarnation as a dachshund.

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THE MEN OF STEEL AMBASSADOR KIT WILL BE LAUNCHED ON AUGUST 17

 

MEN OF STEEL