Team Feature – More WorldTour for NFTO


The 2015 NFTO line up has been revealed and among the 17 signings is Steele van Hoff from WorldTour squad Garmin Sharp

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Team News – More WorldTour for NFTO

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After the great success in 2014 when Adam Blythe helped NFTO ((Not For The Ordinary) to being the most successful British based squad with a win at Ride London and numerous other major domestic victories, NFTO have done it again and signed a “hitter” from a WorldTour team; Steele Von Hoff.


Tour of Britain and Steele Von Hoff  is second to Mark Cavendish in a bunch kick – so he’s quick then!

The Australian circuit race champion in 2014 is one of many new signings in a 17 strong team with many familiar names. Steele Von Hoff  was the 2014 Circuit Race Champion in Australia and has ridden for Garmin Sharp for the last two seasons.

Not only can he ride a crit well having been on the podium in the Aussie crit champs for the last three years, he also has a great track record in road races and twice finished on the podium on stages of the Tour of Britain (2nd & 3rd), 12th on a stage of Paris-Nice this year and much more.

Steele Von Hoff says of the move “I watched the team throughout this season and I was really impressed with them. The team are fully supportive of my ambitions and my main aim to get back to WorldTour level; Adam achieved the same goal riding with NFTO this season, so I think they’re the best squad to help me achieve the same target.”

Von Hoff is looking to races like the Tour of Britain, the Tour of Yorkshire and the RideLondon Classic which in 2014 was won by NFTO’s Adam Blythe. That was a result which helped get a contract with Orica GreenEdge for the Sheffield rider.

“I just want to replicate the good year I had in 2011 and try and win again. I need to get back into that routine of winning to get myself back into the top ranks. NFTO are fully supportive and are basing a team around me to try to get me some victories so I can step back up” he told CyclingTips.

The 26 year old admits to being a different type of sprinter to Cavendish as he feels he can climb as well as sprint. “I love the opportunity to bang buzz against the big names like Greipel, Cavendish and Kittel,” he said. “It was a really good feeling to sprint against them. Not even beating them, but just sprinting against them and catching up to them and knowing that I was within reach of being competitive” he explained to Cyclingtips.

The team, which will be on Felt bikes, would like to establish the team as a great place for riders with ambition to be with. Von Hoff though is just one string to the team’s arsenal.


Ian Bibby (above) changes team colours and moves to NFTO from Madison Genesis. The North West rider who has shown he can climb with the best, will be looking to kick start his career in new colours and told VeloUK “I’m really excited for 2015. I think the atmosphere in the team is going to be great with really good lads who can have a laugh and yet win big races”.

“I’m looking forward to some of the new high ranked races on the calendar this year and racing as much as possible. Having Johnny (McEvoy) in the same team is great. We both had good years riding together with Motorpoint and Endura so it will be great to get back with one of my best mates in cycling for another year. It means we can drag each other out training more during the week”!

Also new to the team is Rob Partridge who has in the past finished high up the overall in the Tour of Britain in 2010 (top Brit in 8th place) and this year got off to a winning start with victory in the Jock Wadley classic. This year he rode for Giordana who will not we understand have a men’s team in 2015 and so it’s great to see the former winner of a round of the Tour Series in a top team.

After a cold morning of training, he told VeloUK “It’s exciting to be involved in the team having seen the support they have and also seeing how they have been the most successful team this year.”

“I’m really pleased to get the opportunity to ride for NFTO and John Wood. I have been talking to him since the nationals where my ride there (7th) stood me in good stead. That was a race that I had targeted and came away happy with that result.”


Rob Partridge

Rob is pleased to be back working with his manager from their UK Youth days, Dave Povall and several riders he has ridden with as teammates before making the transition into the team so much smoother. Rob has been in the same team as James Lowsley-Williams at UK Youth, Ian Bibby and Jonny McEvoy at Endura and also Rhys Lloyd at Rapha. He’s been in the same team as Dale Appleby before too.

“I’m 29 now and it’s important for me to keep getting results and also pass on my experience to the many young guys in the team. I quite enjoy a ‘captain’ role on the road. I had a little taste of that at UK Youth and also this season”.

Rob explained how he’s hoping to have another year like 2010 when he won the Ryedale Grand Prix or 2011 when he won a round of the Tour Series. 2014 was not the best season for him which he admits was probably down to a winter where he had to work until he found a team (Giordana). Whilst he didn’t get the miles in he needed later on, Rob did start well with third at the Eddie Soens and then the win at the Jock Wadley.

“Signing for NFTO is good because it will allow me to do things right this winter. I’ve been training for four weeks now, probably a little too early but it’s all steady miles so far, nothing too crazy and it’s nice to focus 100 per cent on cycling. Fingers crossed, I can have one of my best years yet with NFTO.”


Hugh Wilson, right, returns with NFTO in 2015 after a good season for them in 2014 with a podium in the Prem at Wiltshire.

Another new rider in NFTO colours is Irish rider Eddie Dunbar. The rider who lives in Cork will be a first year senior and had many major victories as a Junior in 2014. That included two stage wins and overall victory at the NFTO-backed Junior Tour of Wales.

The talented Irishman also won the Overall at the Junior Tour of Ireland for the second time and having won the national time trial title last year, he added the road crown this season. In July, Dunbar was second in the Nations Cup Trofeo Karlsberg stage race in Germany.

NFTO were keen to sign him, not just because of his potential but also to do their best to look after him and give him a team where he can learn from many experienced riders including those in the World Tour such as Von Hoff. Dunbar was said to be a target for Sean Kelly’s team in Belgium and also that of John Herety and to top it off, the team run by Axel Merckx in the US. Eddie told VeloUK “I’m delighted to be signed by NFTO. it’s a brilliant team especially with the results they got this year! I chose NFTO because it just ticked all the boxes with what I was looking for in a team”.

“There’s an excellent set up in NFTO and I’m looking forward to working with everyone involved with the team. My main aim is to just progress as a rider, help the team out in races and to take my chances in races when they come if the terrain suits me”.

Rob Partridge explained how he has already been for a training ride with Eddie and how the young Irish rider can go up hill very fast indeed and has unbelievable power.

NFTO will be welcoming back riders from this season including Hugh Wilson who was third in the Wiltshire Classic Prem road race and is a former winner of the Jock Wadley. Young track and road star Sam Harrison will also be in the team’s colours as will Dale Appleby whilst James Lowsley-Williams is already getting in the miles in for his team.

Lowsley-Williams, also called ‘Hank’, certainly had a great 2014 season and was one of the team’s workers but still able to pull out a great result showing just what an engine he has for the bike. “I am really happy to be able to re-sign with NFTO pro cycling!” said James.


‘Hank’ and Bernie Eisel having a chat in the 2014 Tour of Britain

“2014 was a great year for me, The team gave me some really great opportunities to race against the best in the world and I want to carry on my progression into 2015. We have a great line up of riders and I definitely think we as a team can build on the success we had in 2014!”

Speaking of engine’s, NFTO’s ‘tank’, James Lewis also returns whilst junior Joe Wiltshire joins from the NFTO Race Club. The other new signings include Tom Barras who joins from Wheelbase-Altura MGD and Edmund Bradbury (from Cambridge University RT).

A well known name in there is Justin Hoy who is well known for racking up National B wins, 10, 20 or more in one season. Justin, who works in the cycle industry, has signed with the team along with Richard Mardle from Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves Cycles).

Justin says of the signing for NFTO, that will take many insiders by surprise, “I’m obviously very pleased to sign with NFTO after all these years of racing and getting an opportunity to stretch myself in some bigger events. I would like to think with some good training under my belt this winter, I can step back onto the podium in national events once again as this will probably be my last big season being 37.”

Other signings are Rhys Lloyd and Zach May from Metaltek from where manager Dave Povall has also joined from and Johnny McEvoy from NetApp-Endura.


Jonny McEvoy in winning form when he rode for Endura Racing at DoonHame


Dale Appleby
Tom Barras (joins from Wheelbase-Altura MGD)
Ian Bibby (joins from Madison-Genesis)
Edmund Bradbury (joins from Cambridge University RT)
Eddie Dunbar (joins from Kanturk CC)
Sam Harrison
Justin Hoy (joins from Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves)
James Lewis
Rhys Lloyd (joins from Metaltek)
James Lowsley-Williams
Richard Mardle (joins from Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves)
Zach May (joins from Metaltek)
Johnny McEvoy (joins from NetApp-Endura)
Rob Partridge (joins from Giordana Racing)
Steele Von Hoff (joins from Garmin-Sharp)
Hugh Wilson
Joe Wiltshire (joins from the NFTO Race Club)

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