Austin takes up fulltime role with Team Bonitas
Barry Austin, one of South Africa’s most experienced professional road cycling team managers, has been appointed to a full time position with Lange Sports to help further grow Team Bonitas on both a domestic and international level.
The South African-based professional cycling team registered as an International Cycling Union (UCI) Continental team for the first time in 2012 and completed a successful preliminary European racing programme. Austin was at the helm of Team Bonitas’ early foray into Europe, managing the squad through two six-week stints in Portugal and Spain.
Austin (37) ended his three-year association with Cycling South Africa (CSA) after the Olympic Games in London last month. During his tenure on CSA’s Road Commission, Austin was instrumental in helping fast track the development of women’s Elite road cycling, creating the Tour de Free State, a new high-profile international event, and assisting with national team selection and management.
He also manages his own young-rider high performance business, coaching talented young South Africans and helping create career paths for them both locally and internationally.
All of Austin’s expertise will now be incorporated into Lange Sports, the company that owns Team Bonitas, Team RE:CM and which will soon launch an events division.
“I’ve been doing some contract work for Lange Sports this year. With the business growing though, Malcolm Lange has been unable to direct his full attention on the riders and team management. It’s worked out very well and now we’re taking it up to another level,” explained Austin.
Austin has been tasked to restructure the Team Bonitas set-up to create a multi-level environment that focuses on international racing, domestic racing and young rider development. He will also be used as a technical director for Lange Sports cycling events.
“Road cycling in South Africa has plenty of room for development, both from a rider perspective and an events perspective. But it requires a goal and a plan. There’s a lot of exciting growth as can be seen by the progression to an international level this year of teams like MTN Qhubeka, Team Bonitas and even Tasol GT.
“But there needs to be sustainability and that’s where I’ll be putting in a lot of time and effort with my role at Lange Sports. We aren’t only going to improve the Lange Sports properties, but will make a difference to road cycling in South Africa as a whole. It’s going to require a different approach and a change of attitude, but it’s the only way our road cycling can grow to be more in line with other top performing road cycling nations.”
Kandice Buys, an experienced manager that’s helped build the success of Team Bonitas, will continue to add managerial support where needed, but will be largely focussed on building and managing the new PR, media and online communications division of Lange Sports.
“We’re fortunate and excited to have Barry join Lange Sports on a fulltime basis. His vision and his methods have reaped impressive results over the past decade or so, whether as a coach, a manager or an event director. He’s quite an introvert and as a result much of his successes have gone unheralded, but his understanding of road cycling and list of achievements are unmatched,” said Malcolm Lange.
“As I discovered during my racing career and more recently as a team owner, your potential is governed by your own limitations, both physical and mental. Barry has a way of identifying and unlocking potential that will be a great asset to our business as a whole and the riders in our Team Bonitas fold,” added Lange.