Thanyapura has welcomed former professional Tour de France cyclist Nick Gates to the fold as the incoming Director of the Cycling Academy. With Phuket’s tremendous potential as a cycling destination, Nick will be spearheading the expansion of Thanyapura’s cycling offerings, including building on Thanyapura’s already successful cycling academy events.
Nick hails from Sydney and has over 15 years of experience in track and road racing. He twice competed in the Tour de France for the Lotto-Domo team and has won the Commonwealth Bank Classic and the Australian national road race title. After his retirement from professional racing he worked as a director or sport for Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and headed Vellum Cycles Australia.
Now, he competes in triathlons across South East Asia and Australia, while focusing on building the standard of the athletes who train here at the Thanyapura Cycling Academy – many of whom have stormed to success in international events recently.
Hello Nick, glad to see you have joined the cycling academy team at Thanyapura. It is great to have you here!
Thank you, it is good to be part of the Thanyapura Team. Having looked at Thanyapura for some while with interest in their junior sports program, I finally came to see the sports center for myself with my wife [Belinda Gates]. We were both amazed at the extent of facility here and what is on offer for juniors, the everyday athlete, and the top professionals at Thanyapura.
The whole facility is incredible and I am so happy to be working here with some of the best athletes in the world to make the Cycling Academy successful.
Phuket has a number of cycling tours pass through here every year. What do you think makes Phuket and Thailand an ideal cycling destination?
It is a beautiful part of the world to cycle and experience the country on a bike! The weather in Phuket is always amazing and the scenery is second to none. I’m more than aware of the potential to further grow cycling here in Phuket, Thailand. On weekends I am seeing up to 150 riders on a Sunday ride, which is crazy! The need and want is there for cycling in Phuket and it is not going to change. I think this is just the start for cycling in Thailand.
You competed in the WTJ East Coast Challenge as part of a team (including Thanyapura chief executive chairman Chris McCormack, former pro cyclist Casey Munro, and pro triathlete Paul Ambrose).
I competed together with some 400 starters. We were lucky enough to come away with the win at the World Travel Joy (WTJ) East Coast Challenge within our team, so it was a great start for my time here at Thanyapura.
What is the state of pro cycling in Thailand and Phuket now and where do you think it can be in the next few years?
I would love to see Thai pro cycling move completely to the next level in the next few years. However, this will take a lot of planning and preparation. But nonetheless, I do believe that Thailand can produce future riders that will enter the Pro Tour Cycling world. I know Thailand will reach that next level in the next few years. Thailand will be the cycling destination for Asia.
As director of the Thanyapura Cycling Academy, what’s the first thing that you’re working on now and what are you most excited about?
I’m working on a few exciting things for the Thanyapura Cycling Academy for the near future. I’d love to see a Thanyapura Cycling Club with an opportunity for locals of any ability to race and enjoy themselves. I am just excited at the possibility to offer the people something new, fun, and challenging for people in Phuket. I look forward to helping people improve their cycling ability, and helping the next generation realize their dreams.
My whole family is excited about the prospect of entering an amazing school (Phuket International Academy) and having the opportunity to have the sporting facility that Thanyapura provides for them.
It is an exciting time for me and Thanyapura, as we secure our place as the Sports Hub of Asia and the top Cycling Academy in South East Asia! There is a lot more to come in the next few months from us, and from cycling as a whole in Thailand.
In the next few months, Thanyapura Phuket has several exciting cycling events coming up, including the Phuket Classic Cycling Race. This exciting inaugural event will be held on November 14 and is a fun, competitive race that will see riders cycle all around Phuket.
At Thanyapura Phuket, we also hold CompuTrainer Group Sessions, private one-on-one cycling classes and more with our experienced and professional athletes. For more information on how you can get on board and start your cycling journey today, click here.
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