With the season of major events around the corner, it’s getting very busy for all the team with riders testing their form in some early season races, team owner Cherie Pridham signing a new star rider in Enrique Sanz and some really excellent news for the team; selection for the Le Tour de Yorkshire at the end of April.
The news from the organisers of Le Tour de Yorkshire on Tuesday (March 22) confirmed selection for a race organised by the same organisers as the Tour de France, ASO. The three day race held 28 - 30 April is probably the biggest event of the year and selection is a major boost for the team.
"We are really delighted to be selected for this world class event" was the reaction of team owner Cherie Pridham. "This will be the third edition for the team in this race and each year we look to make our mark on the racing. Last year we had a rider in the first breakaway at the front of the race on the first stage and will be looking to do that again this year and show off the sponsors colours on television."
"The race also has a sprint stage and we have three riders eager to be in the mix with Enrique Sanz, Sebastian Mora and Yoeri Havik backed up by a strong squad. With live television and huge crowds expected all along the route, not only are the riders really up to doing well in this race, but everyone in the team is looking forward to being part of this global event."
"It means the world to us to be part of an event which enables us to showcase the talent this team has and also give us the opportunity to pay back the sponsors of the team who have shown great faith in backing the team this year” Cherie added.
Another boost recently was the signing of Enrique Sanz, a hugely experienced Spanish rider who has spent many seasons riding for the worlds top team, Movistar. One of the fastest sprinters in the world, Enrique will be one of the teams key 'weapons' in races, especially those that finish in a bunch 'kick'.
In 2017 already, Sanz has had top 10s in pro races riding for the Spanish national team including 5th on stage 3 of the high ranking Tour of Valencia so it’s no surprise that Team owner Cherie Pridham is delighted to have had the opportunity to bring Enrique to Britain.
Another major milestone for the team recently has been the delivery of the 2017 team cars from Toyota and the subsequent carbon fibre and chromoly 'wrapping' of them in the most amazing looking graphics courtesy of HEX Signs and Graphics (part of the Bri-Stor Group).
During the month, the team also travelled to Wembley for a photo call at Sweetspot's Tour Series 'launch', another major objective for the team in 2017 (May). The last six weeks has also seen many of the riders visit the service course at Derby University to collect some of the great kit from the team's sponsors including Primal Europe, Uvex and Mavic, as well as advice from High 5 on their nutrition products, before a long training ride the next day in the Derbyshire hills.
Around the same, BBC4 aired a programme on the team's title sponsor, Raleigh UK, where head mechanic Alan Buttler featured during the hour long documentary. Link to the programme on iPlayer (17 days left from today). http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08j8mvl/pedalling-dreams-the-raleigh-story
Whilst the first major race for the team is not until April 2nd (this Sunday), the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix at Guisborough in the North East, the riders have been in action both in Britain and in Europe.
On the track, both Seb Mora and Yoeri Havik were in winning form during the Mallorca Six Day series finale whilst on the road, Adria Moreno too was winning in Spain. Here in Britain, the British based team members have been working hard at getting in some racing in local events, ready for the big test in the North East on April 2nd.
Last weekend saw two wins for the team, Ryan Perry in a time trial and Tristan Robbins in a National B road race whilst Fraser Martin was second in another National B road race.
This weekend, the team comes together for the first major race of the season, the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix in the North East, part of the Spring Cup national series for road racing in Britain.
Thanks www.velouk.net for the great images!