Team News: 2013 Line-Up for UK Youth Revealed

Team UK Youth have revealed a strengthened line up for 2013 with a lot of new signings for the coming season

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After a successful season in 2012 with a debut in the Tour of Britain and a good showing in the Tour Series, Team UK Youth have announced a strengthened line-up for 2013. The key for Team UK Youth rider recruitment for 2013 was versatility as the team explained in a press release.

The personality of the riders says the team also plays a big part as riders in the team instantly become ambassadors for UK Youth – a National Charity with over 100 years of history that directly works with in-excess of 750,000 young people each year.

The team continues to be zero-cost to the charity, underwritten by the charity’s President Nigel Mansell CBE and family. The line-up, says the press release, is a great combination of experienced proven race-winners and young talent that shows both great potential and the characteristics required to succeed.

New Bikes & Riders

The 2013 team will be riding Cervelo bikes and will also be seeking to renew their UCI Continental status so they can contest some of the best races in the UK and Europe using the internationally known Cervelo bikes.

Whilst the team has suffered the loss of the big man Magnus Backstedt, it has added many new names to a line-up that for sure will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013 whilst also retaining a lot of its existing riders. Key signings for the team include Ian Wilkinson from Endura Racing who was in great form at the end of this season.

An example of just how quick the Barnoldswick rider was this year can be seen in the result of the GP Van Petegam won by Andrei Greipel, with Andy Fenn (Quickstep) in 4th and in 6th, just ahead of Marcel Kittel a certain Ian Wilkinson (pictured below).

Wilkinson, nicknamed ‘superman’ was winging his way to the USA with wife Jayne when the team was announced but is very pleased with the contract at UK Youth. “I’m really really excited by my new team UK Youth. Nigel (Mansell) is already an incredibly inspirational team owner having done soooo much in his sport. We will be raising awareness of the UK Youth charity work even more this year at home and abroad. In the mean time. Viva Las Vegas!”

Other key signings include Marcin Bialoblocki who can always be relied on to get a result for a team and likewise for Rob Partridge. Tobyn Horton too knows how to win a bike race and comes to the team from Raleigh-GAC.

Josh Hunt who had a good year in Europe this year is another new signing as is An Post/Sean Kelly rider Jon Mould who came through the GB Academy system. Talking to team manager Dave Povall, he started by saying he wanted to thank the riders and sponsors of the team in 2012 for their help in making it a great success and giving them a solid foundation for 2013.

Dave agrees that 2012 was a step up for the team and the highlight for him was the performance of the team in the Tour Series. “Nobody really spoke about us which was quite nice and we achieved in 2012 what we set out to achieve. Top three in the Tour Series, a round win individually and for the team, a podium in a Premier Calendar and an invite to the Tour of Britain”.

“I think we also did ourselves proud in the Tour of Britain trying to animate the race and be competitive.”

The team manager is also pleased to have strengthened the team for a coming season where many of the teams will be evenly matched after all have added some firepower to their squads. “Marcin will podium in a crit, a stage race or in a UCI race and that versatility can be seen in many of the riders such as Ian Wilkinson or Rob Partridge.”

“I am very happy with the team we’ve assembled for sure and I know they will represent the UK Youth charity well on and off the road.”

Dave Povall with Tour Series Technical Manager Andy Hawes.

A number of the riders we contacted are also very pleased with the line-up for next season. A rider who surprised many in 2012 with some great wins and strong performances in the top races was Sweden’s Niklas Gustavsson pictured above winning a round of the Tour Series in Redditch.

He told VeloUK “I feel honoured to be part of another year with Team UK Youth. The team is growing and so am I together with it! The higher goals within the team inspire and encourage me to perform and prepare even better and harder. The team and myself are riding for a good cause; to inspire and motivate all the kids. It goes without saying that I’m really looking forward to 2013!”

Another of the team’s top performers in 2012 was the South West’s Chris Opie who told VeloUK “after enjoying 2012 with UK Youth, I’m looking forward to the big progression we are going to make in 2013.”

“We have some really strong riders joining us for the new season and I can’t wait to see how that changes our chances for team victories in the races. It’s a great set up we have with UK Youth, the support and experience shared in the team I believe is second to none. Because of this, 2013 should be an even more exciting season. I can’t wait to get racing!”

Chris Opie.

Meanwhile new signing Jon Mould from Wales, is also pleased to be riding for a team with such a legend backing it in Nigel Mansell. “I’m just really excited for next year” he explained to VeloUK. “It will be a great honour to wear and represent the jersey and charity. The team looks great and Dave Povall has done a lot of hard work to get us all together. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing a lot of wins in a UK Youth jersey”.

The team have also signed a very much under rated rider who seems to slip under the radar and win the odd race as well as support his team to the max in races here in Britain and abroad. Rob Partridge is hoping his new teammate Marcin Bialoblocki will forgive him for ‘nicking’ a round of the Tour Series off him in 2011 as they come together in the same team for 2013.

Rob over the years has won the Ryedale Grand Prix, podiumed in the Girvan stage race, been the British Under 23 road race champion and also podiumed in that hardest of hard stage races, the Irish RAS. Rob was also the leading British rider in the 2010 Tour of Britain in 8th place overall.

Rob has been part of the Endura Racing team for three years and says that signing for UK Youth is like a breath of fresh air for his career on the bike. Rob, about to head out on his bike to continue his training for the 2013 season, explained that he’s looking forward to having a bit more freedom to chase the victories he knows he’s capable of.

Rob racing at the Lincoln Grand Prix

“The vibes already coming from the guys is all really really positive. It’s a great to be joining a team that’s supporting the charity. I’ve met Nigel a few times and straight away he put me at ease and I’ve spoken at length with him about a lot of things like what I’ve been doing the past three years with Endura and what sort of rider I am.”

“So I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of working with him and getting stuck in to what I do best, racing my bike and repaying the support and faith that him and ‘Pov’ have put in me by sticking a couple of wins in there. ”

Rob explains that he and the other new riders want to help the team build on what it’s already achieved over the last few years since it was established and raise awareness of the charity UK Youth. “It’s a nice combination of riders in the team and not weighted in one direction or another which will allow the team to go to races with options.”

“I haven’t been this excited about a move to a team for a long time now and I’m really motivated for the next season. 2013 has already begun for me and I can go out now, ride my bike and enjoy it!”

UK YOUTH FOR 2013

Yanto Barker
Marcin Bialoblocki
Niklas Gustavsson
Tobyn Horton
Josh Hunt
James Lowsley-Williams
Greg Mansell
Jon Mould
Chris Opie
Rob Partridge
Richard Tanguy
Ian Wilkinson

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