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Australian cycling national champs

3 November 2021

Meet Team SunGod Australia

Athlete Stories

The Southern Hemisphere Summer is coming. Get to know the Australian SunGod Pro Athletes…

The Summer of 2022 is upon the Southern Hemisphere and no one is more ready to get after it than our Australian athletes. As Australia and New Zealand emerge from another lockdown, we’re celebrating the hopeful return to normality in the only way we know how – getting stoked for another season of podiums, record-breaking performances and uninterrupted sunshine (we hope)! Meet the SunGod pros who will be laying it all on the line this summer...

The SunGod pros showing off their skills in their sunglasses and goggles this summer include:

Ellie Salthouse – Triathlete

Ellie Salthouse is no stranger to the view from the top of the podium with no less than 16 International Ironman 70.3 titles. Fresh off the back of another podium-sweeping season in the USA, Ellie will be making her mark on the Australian middle-distance triathlon circuit this summer in SunGod's women's cycling sunglasses.

Sum yourself up in a sentence: I’m a sweet but feisty Australian who loves racing, training and French bulldogs.
My friends know me for: My love of sleeping in. I usually sleep between 10-11 hours per night if I can!
Proudest achievement of 2021: Winning the Australian long course championship
Most excited for in 2022: I’m excited to be able to travel freely around the globe and have another crack at racing the World Champs against the best in the world.
Top career achievement: I’m proud of all 16 of my half distance titles!

James Carew - Kitesurfer

You’ll struggle to find anyone as stoked on kitesurfing as James Carew, another SunGod athlete who is a regular on top of the podium. Along with being the GKA 2021 world number 1, he’s pioneering the way in strapless with his good buddy and fellow SunGod Pro, Airton Cozzolino. We’re stoked for what’s to come for James, with his kitesurfing sunglasses, the sky is quite literally the limit…

Sum yourself up in a sentence: I’m a super competitive guy, competing and being face to face with my opponent really excites me and I always want to finish the day on a win!
My friends know me for: Being the guy who sends the crazy s**t first..
Proudest achievement of 2021: Definitely having two event wins for the 2021 ranking and going into the year as a real force for another world title.
Most excited for in 2022: It looks like our competition circuit will be fully back up and running in 2022, so it’s going to be awesome to push the sport and really show off everything we’ve been working so hard on for the past two years.
Top career achievement: Two back to back event wins and being world number #1 for the first half of 2021.

Michaela Davis Meehan – Snowboarder

After a winter slashing turns in her home resort of Perisher NSW, Michaela is primed and ready for another winter in the Northern Hemisphere chasing down a fresh FWT qualification for 2023. Armed with her SunGod snowboarding goggles – watch this space!

Sum yourself up in a sentence: A happy, chilled adventurer who can't stay in one place for too long and is always up to something.
My friends know me for: Always getting myself into weird and often very random situations and having a great story to tell.
Proudest achievement of 2021: After years of thinking someday I'll try the van life, I've finally turned it into a reality!
Most excited for in 2022: Changing up my season in the Northern Hemisphere winter and exploring somewhere new.
Top career achievement: Competing on the Freeride World Tour, being the first ever Australian to win a stop on the tour and placing 2nd overall in 2020 – I’ll be back!

ARA | Pro Racing Sunshine Coast

Based out of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, ARA | Pro Racing Sunshine Coast is the men and women's racing arm of the Australian Cycling Academy (ACA). Since its foundation in 2018, the team has competed across UCI Pro Series events like Le Tour de Langkawi, Qinghai Lake, and the Japan Cup to huge success. Despite being hampered by Covid in the past years, the team have been successful in signing two riders to the World Tour in the last year. Ex-pro cyclist Ben Kersten, one of the team's co-founders, shares what's in store for the season ahead:

Team goals for the season ahead: To get back to top-level racing in 2022 and head back to Europe so our riders can get the exposure they need to further develop into professionals. Australia seems to be getting back on track and our National Racing Series will also be a major target. The World Road Championships will be held in Australia in 2022 so we have selected 4 of the most talented Juniors with the hope of World Championship success for them on home soil.

Who are the riders to watch? Olympian Maeve Plouffe is one to watch when she’s on the road bike. 21-year-old Anya Louw is developing fast and will no doubt be professional in the next 12 months with her rate of improvement. We also just signed Danielle De Francesco, a gun on the domestic scene looking to start racing internationally. All these weapons will be coming into January hot for our summer of cycling. Watch out for them at the nationals and Santos Festival of Cycling (domestic TDU).

How is spring looking for the team? Most athletes are in a building phase for January as it’s the target for almost all Australian riders. We train as a team once a week where all the men, women and staff get involved and try to keep up! We have gym sessions twice a week together at the University and race most weekends. It’s one of the best times of year to ride here before it gets too hot - plenty of scenic hinterland gravel riding and coastal recovery loops!

What equipment are you using this year? We have signed with Factor bikes for 2022 and continue our partnership with our friends at SRAM. We run Australian brand, Caden Wheels, for the 3rd year partnered up with some slick Pirelli tyres. Kask is keeping our heads safe and fast. Black Sheep clothing keeps us looking good with, of course, road cycling sunglasses from SunGod as the icing on the cake for the whole team.

There is no question that the anticipation is high for these athletes as we head into summer. We’re incredibly excited to be supporting them as they continue chasing waves, smashing PBs and dominating podiums. Summer of 2022, let’s be having you!