Their intuition has been proved correct, with the pair achieving a string of podium finishes during the course of this year.
The former pro started the outfit, officially known as BikeShop-Scott-Strocam, with help from Strocam Mining and Scott Sports Africa.
It also includes youth cyclists Matt Leppan and Zack Arron who race in the local and national cross-country and cross-country marathon series.
“Aidan and Rogan are racing their first full season, focusing on the stage events. This year they finished second at the Knysna Bull, PE Plett, Great Zuurberg Trek and Storms River Traverse,” said Evans.
The duo also went on to retain their Dr Evil Classic title in Plettenberg Bay at the end of last month.
Evans, who will himself be in action at next year’s joBerg2c, said he was proud of the team and what they had achieved. With regards to getting back in the saddle himself, he said his ambition was to go out there, be able to take part again and have fun.
“I’ll leave the racing for the racing snakes,” said Evans, who recently opened up to In the Bunch about his past addiction.
The almost 21-year-old Smart said he believed riding for Evans’s team was always going to be a smart move.
“Kevin has raced at the highest level possible in our sport with incredible results, so to have him as a mentor with all his experience and advice is truly something special,” said the Plett local.
Smart added that he hoped to improve his level of riding and he believed this would prove much easier and more fun with the support of a team.
“I hope to learn as much as possible. Having Kevin around to pick his brain about anything is just an awesome way to learn how to handle everything that comes with racing.”
For Connelly it all started some three years ago when his father, Alan, helped them put money together and drove Rogan and himself to all the local races in the Western Cape as private riders.
“Rogan and I have always known Kevin and approached him for a sponsorship about two years ago. Kevin is an absolute legend and a true gentleman, both on and off the bike, and his advice and experience are priceless,” said Connelly.
The 20-year-old says he at the end of the day it is all about doing what you love and loving what you do.
“Having the support of the Bike Shop and other sponsors means the world to us and gives us the opportunity to do what we love.
“Our goal is to reach the highest level of mountain-biking success possible. The sky’s the limit and that’s what excites us. We also want to have as much fun as possible while doing it. Oh yes, top-quality banter is also vital.”
Connelly, who also calls Plett home, added that cycling was an extraordinary sport and never ceased to amaze him.
“There are so many special life lessons that can be learnt from simply riding a bicycle. It’s taught me a lot and will still teach me more along the way and that is what’s beautiful about it; you never stop learning.”