Feature – Chatting to Tim Elverson (Pedal Heaven)


After five years, the Pedal Heaven racing team has gone UCI – we talk to DS Tim Elverson about the strengthened team

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Feature – Chatting to Tim Elverson (Pedal Heaven)


A team that has been nipping at the heels of the UCI teams for the past few years, finishing third in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in 2015, Pedal Heaven, is itself a UCI team in 2016.

The team had its launch this week but it was last Sunday when they showed they could race smart and with good legs by putting four riders into the top four of the Perfs Pedal early season classic.

The pressure was on them to do that of course after other UCI teams in the past have achieved similar results and Pedal Heaven/Pierian responded to that responsibility well. How they fare in races where the other British UCI teams are present is still to be seen but one thing is never going to be questioned and that’s the very professional look of the team, not just pre-race and post-race but during the racing as well.

It’s a very young team with some experienced riders to guide them and a coupe in also signing a rider who has been on the podium at the Worlds (MTB), Grant Ferguson who will do selected races for them.

Talking to the team’s DS Tim Elverson before the Perfs Pedal, he explained that whilst the team are on track, they still have a few things to do before all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.


The team celebrate being the first non-UCI team in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Bath in 2015

“Everything we have got is nailed on and we’ll be able to operate the way we set out to in order to make the progression we have been making the last few years” Tim explained When asked why go UCI after the success they had as an Elite team, Tim replied …

“We felt the team needed to be involved in some of the bigger races in the UK and also in Europe and ultimately that was always the target.”

“To have a system to take youngsters all way through from being juniors (such as Rory Townsend) to racing the big events. We set out to do that five years ago and we have done that.”

In going UCI, that has meant increasing the budget and for that, new sponsors (Pierian) are on the jersey to help pay for bringing in new riders. Tim says he’s really pleased with the way the line-up has evolved.

“We have a lot of youngsters and the average of the team is only 24 even though we have some very experienced riders in Ian Wilkinson and Dave McGowan. But their experience will provide so much to the young guys and Wilkes is a great character.”

“I sat down with him and we discussed the season ahead and I could tell he wasn’t done with racing and I certainly don’t believe he is done. I feel we can get the best out of him as we have a good atmosphere in the team to help him thrive and I think we’ll see a real good Ian Wilkinson this year.”

When it comes to the racing programme, Tim explained they have applications in for UCI races and none of them are guaranteed yet. We weren’t confirmed as UCI until December so we are slightly behind the eight ball but we’re in the RAS, and we have applied for the Tour of Yorkshire, Velothon Wales and Ride London. We also have a few races in Holland organised”.


Tim added that whilst he believes the team has the strength of riders to run a two tier programme, they don’t quite have the infrastructure to do that so it will be what he calls a one and half tier programme. We certainly have a lot lined up in June and July but the priority is for us to step up first.”

As for the early season programme, Tim explained “Most of the team have been in Malaga for nearly five weeks and are in decent shape but I want them to race and enjoy the racing. These races (Perfs etc) are good races with good guys in them and so they give us a chance to learn how to operate like a UCI team at the front of a race.”

“That’s important to us. We’ll be doing the Clayton Classic, Severn Bridge, Eddie Soens, Roy Thame and Jock Wadley. On the Eddie Soens weekend, we have five different races with two squads on the Saturday and Sunday and we’ll go at them as hard as we can to try and be better than we were last year.”

The Pedal Heaven colours can also be seen in an Academy team (below warming up before the Perfs last Sunday)  which also raced at the Perfs and one of their riders, Tom Mazzone was third. “This is a programme I wanted us to have” says Tim. “Ultimately, it will end up being a few experienced guys with five under 23’s with good support. Taking promising juniors that could get in a UCI team but which may be a step too far where they’ll get lost in the system.”


“With the academy, if they come here for a year or two, learn how to be a professional, we can then take them into the UCI team knowing them and them knowing us. So this year, most of the guys in the Academy are under 23 and they have been working hard with the UCI riders. At races, we’re two separate teams with their own DS looking after them.”

“It’s a place for them to learn how to be better bike riders without that extra pressure in a UCI team. We want to give them something to strive for and that’s the place in the UCI team.”


A few hours after the interview, the team had done their boss Craig Peter and DS Tim, proud by finishing first and second with an academy rider in third and another from the UCI team in fourth.

“I’m really pleased with the way the lads stuck to the plan” says their DS Tim. “We got stuck in there and won the race. It was great to also see one of the academy guys (Tom) up there in the race rolling through and getting on the podium.”


Tim was also pleased the way eventual winner Rory Townsend (above) came back from a puncture halfway round to catch the leaders and then solo to the finish for the win. “When I saw him drop back I knew that wasn’t good for him. Alex (Paton) was also suffering because he’d been in bed the day before with a fever, so the two guys who had the finish once we were over the lump were not in a good spot”.

The riders however rode smart and after a lot of attacking from the likes of Grant Ferguson, Joe Fry, Lloyd Chapman and of course the winner Rory Townsend, they reaped their rewards.

The final word should come from a rider who the year before was ‘first’ non UCI rider in the Perfs, Rory Townsend. This year he put in a blinder of a ride to win and I look forward to seeing him mixing it with the other best of the best in the British scene.

“On the last lap was when we started to really one two it after we’d been dragging the break around” says Rory. “I got a puncture going up the hill the last time which I thought meant my race was over but I got a new wheel and got back in the cross winds”.

“As soon as I got on, I had a little breather and I saw Grant ahead of me. So I jumped up to him and there was another lad with us so we eased and as the group caught us, Joe Fry went over the top”.

As we caught him, I went with around 8k to go. I quickly opened up a gap of 20 seconds and was then told as I reached the finishing circuit I had 45 so I knew I had it then”.

It was a very strong and powerful finish from Townsend and perhaps a glimpse at a rider who may well be one of the Pedal Heaven team to make a name for themselves in the major events to come.

Thanks to Tim, Rory and everyone in the team for the chat.



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

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,