Is The National Road Series Cycling’s A-League?

By Ben Norden Where is the National Road Series at? As a commentator, I love Matt Keenan. I’ve never met the fella, but he comes across as a really decent person and he brings something different to cycling commentary. So it was with mixed emotions that I was sitting in front of the television on Sunday afternoon watching the Stan Siejka Launceston Cycling Classic, when Matt dumped a harsh assessment of Wesley Sulzberger’s career. It seemed un-Keenan like. To paraphrase Matt, he stated that Wes should be riding at the highest possible level. Matt explained that it was only several years ago that Wes was part of a team selected to defend Cadel’s world championships jersey. But in 2015 he will be riding for a 3rd division team at Continental level, with Navitas-Satalyst. “That’s a bit harsh Matt.” I thought to myself. Perhaps Rochelle Gilmore, Matt’s co-commentator for the day, was thinking the same thing as me when she stated something along the lines of, “perhaps the NRS is where Wes wants to be”. Wise words from someone that has lived an even tougher lifestyle as a cyclist on the women’s tour. Put Wes aside for a moment and let’s focus on the state of the NRS. For me, I liken the NRS in 2015 to the A-League over the past years. Think of Harry Kewell, David Villa and Alessandro Del Piero. You’ve got these great players that have all had experience in the top leagues and in the World Cup. Some have come for different reasons, be it the end of their careers or a chance to give back to the sport on a local level. The 2015 start list for the NRS has some impressive names from the Australian cycling world. Graeme Brown, Jack Bobridge and Wes Sulzberger. Like the A-league clubs who have had some past greats of international Football, you can only imagine what these riders will provide the younger folk of the NRS. The experience of these mature riders, that still have plenty to offer will make the 2015 season one of the most highly anticipated for any NRS year. Combine these guy’s with a long list of youth that have shown plenty of promise over the past season and we are in for a show people! So who is right? Maybe Matt with his honest assessment that Wes should be riding in the Pro ranks. Or perhaps it’s Rochelle’s thoughts that Wes may actually want to be in the NRS. Whatever Wes’ reasons for being in the National Road Series in 2015, I reckon it’s going to be an?exciting place to be.

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