Feature – Team NFTO all set for 2016


Core group from successful 2015 team spearhead NFTO’s 2016 team with former WorldTour rider Joshua Edmondson the one new signing

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Feature – Team NFTO all set for 2016


Riders relaxing in the shop before lunch

Friday saw an informal gathering of the 2016 NFTO team at the shop in Hereford (Bridge St) where the riders to race in the ‘red and black army’ met with management and picked up their equipment for next season.

After a successful season with wins in many of the major British events including Ian Bibby’s British title in the circuit race championships, the team for 2016 is largely unchanged. Team boss John Wood explained how he didn’t see the need to change the core of the team which were more like a ‘family’ and as well as delivering results, were loyal to the values of the brand and the team.

Instead of a host of changes that most teams go through at the end of the season, NFTO have a squad that has seen quite a few riders either depart for new teams or not be re-signed and the core of the squad retained at what the boss called a sustainable cost for the team and for the rider.

Ie, costs the team can afford and wages for the riders which are realistic and provide them with a decent level of income compared to those in other industries.

Only one new signing has been made so far, former World Tour rider Joshua Edmondson, still only 23, who admits to still having ambitions to return to the top of the sport.

Other development riders, more than likely from the local Hereford area, are expected to be added to the squad in the new year, but for now, the focus is on the riders who will have the responsibility of delivering the results as they did in 2015.


Ian Bibby signing jerseys whilst at Hereford

The Team
The 2016 riders that were in Hereford on Friday was headed up by British circuit race champion Ian Bibby who will be racing in the team’s colours in the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross in a few weeks.

The others include Jonny McEvoy who had at least nine podiums in major events in 2015, Dale Appleby, Rhys Lloyd, James Lewis, James Lowsley-Williams and Rob Partridge. Another rider from the 2015 squad, Tom Barras, will be the team’s DS in 2016.

The sponsors of the team including Aberdeen, remain largely unchanged with equipment coming from sponsors such as Felt, Enve and Continental to name but three of many who will be announced in forthcoming releases.


Team boss John Wood explained at the get together “I thought for this season (2015) we assembled a team with the right mix of guys who would ride for each other and I found there were no egos on the bus. On and off the bike, the team did really really well.”

“Bibby had an outstanding season, as did the other riders. Eddie Dunbar was fantastic and he took a lot of the focus and the pressure off the team and he did really well. So from a performance aspect, we did well and achieved what we wanted to do”.

For any team boss putting a lot of money and time into a project like a pro cycling team, there has to be rewards because profit is certainly not one of them. For John, he says “the reward for me is being involved in a great sport. That’s the biggest one. The kids love it as well and for our local area, Hereford, cycling has grown so much in the last three years and continues to do so day-by-day.”

Looking ahead to the next season, John says the team for 2016 selected itself. “Nobody wanted to leave and whilst I did approach a few other riders at the end of the season to fill a few gaps, those riders either stayed where they were or went to other teams. The bottom line though is I had the core of a successful team, my team, and I know they will go from strength to strength.”

One of the changes for next year will be the appointment of Tom Barras as DS. Talking about that change, John says “In the UK, I think the term DS has to be used lightly because whilst there are tactics, we have no race radios during a race and it’s more about what happens off the bike than in the race.”


“Once the race starts in the UK, it’s more the job of the road captain and we have Rob Partridge in a team with a lot of experienced guys.”

“Dave Povall did a fantastic job for us this season but I felt other people need a chance to come into the sport and do what they can do. Tom has a great deal of experience in the UK in the sport of cycling. So I spoke to Tom a few weeks ago and asked if he wanted to have a go at it and he said, ‘why not’.”

Finally, asked what the goals are for 2016, the NFTO team boss who is regularly out on the bike with his riders says “there are a few races I want to target and win but the aim is to keep the momentum going from this season.”

“The guys already know each other so there is no settling in period. Everybody knows their job and their role in the team and it’s great to have Josh Edmondson on-board who is a very serious talent and he’ll one to watch in 2016.”


Tom Barras pulling wheelies at the Hitter RR – in 2016, he’ll swap two wheels for four and the DS spot in the team car.

2016 Roster

Dale Appleby
Ian Bibby
James Lewis
Rhys Lloyd
James Lowsley-Williams
Johnny McEvoy
Rob Partridge
Joshua Edmondson (from An Post)
More to be added (development riders)



Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,