There seems to be a lot more teams basing themselves n the UK for 2005. With the Olympics out the way and with the positive coverage that bought, British riders seem to be getting the commercial support they need and deserve. Last month we covered the Recycling.co.uk/MG X-Power/Litespeed team launch in the magazine, but here's the latest news on the other big teams for 2005:
Riders from Britain's newest professional cycling team took their bow last week in a presentation ceremony in Sussex. Team DFL is registered at UCI Continental level and will be headed up by multiple world championship and world cup track medallist Tony Gibb along with 2004 Coupe de France winner Yanto Barker.
The new team aims to shine both at home in the UK and abroad in its debut season. Speaking at the launch, directeur sportif James Louter said: "We'll be riding in the Premier Calendar races of course, but our aim is also to ride well on the continent and to secure places and ride well in the Tour of Britain and the Tour de l'Avenir. We want to prove that we can be a successful, professionally run outfit."
The combination of races that the team is targeting is a deliberate ploy to attract attention and surf on the growing wave of cycling popularity, according to team manager Nick Collins from title sponsor Driving Force Logistics. "The year 2005 is a huge opportunity for us. Cycling is just ready to burst into the mainstream in the UK. We think our unique calendar will mean we can get the whole country behind us," he said.
The team is currently on a ten-day warm-weather training camp and includes riders from five countries - the UK, Australia, South Africa, Eire and the US.
Team Fat Birds
The Team Fat Birds UK Ladies Cycle Racing Team was launched in Hunstanton last weekend.
"The new team for 2005 is made up of ten young women representing some of the most exciting talent in the country, and with a full racing schedule for the coming road season, you should start to see our distinctive colours at the front of the peleton in all major UK women's races this season" said Stef Wyman, team manager. "A team of six is needed for all the races so with a squad of ten, we can plan with confidence, even when some team members are called up for the GB team" he added.
King's Lynn Mayor, Paul Brandon, who is also Chair of the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Sports Council attended the launch and was impressed by the standard of professionalism shown by the riders.
Fat Birds Don't Fly bike shop owners, Richard and Elaine Bird are delighted to be sponsoring the team, " We aim to raise the standard of women's cycling in the UK and provide our riders with the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Over the past seven years we have helped a number of young women in cycling including local girl Helen Wyman (nee Saunders) who has graduated to international level and she'll be riding in Europe this season with Team Toyota. Now, of course we have a full team and every member has her own hopes and aspirations within one of the cycling disciplines"
Team Fat Birds UK includes Claire Gross, National Criterium Champion, Susy Massey, TLI National Women's Road Race Champion, Laura Bissell the WCRA Women's pursuit champion and Gabby Day who was 3rd in the UK Cyclo Cross Series and 2nd in the National Espoir Road Race Championships. Lizzie Goodband who prior to taking up cycling was a member of the British Cross Country Ski Team and Tracey Fletcher a former County squash and badminton player join the team along with Louise Day, Anna Watson and Rebeca Jones, the only member of the squad unable to attend the launch as she is currently racing in the USA. Local girl Marie French completes the team and she will be concentrating on triathlon in 2005, having achieved podium positions in all her 2004 events.
The sponsorship package from Fat Birds Don't Fly of Hunstanton includes a pro-quality bike, full kit and clothing together with the back-up facilities required for a complete team.
To keep informed about the girls progress visit www.fatbirds.co.uk and www.teamfbuk.com