Feature: 2018 Road Season Looking Interesting in Britain

With at least three teams gone and new teams on the way, the men’s 2018 British road season is shaping up to be an interesting one ….

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Feature: 2018 Road Season Looking Interesting in Britain

The men’s domestic racing scene certainly saw some change at the end of 2017. Recently, it was revealed that three Elite teams (teams that paid British Cycling a lot of money to ensure entry into Prems etc) would not be on the start line in 2018.

One of those teams, Catford CC, has gone public with manager Mike Morgan saying “Well what a ride we had, from nowhere to 4th place in the BC National Ranking for 2017, in front of many of the Pro teams – it’s gone so fast and yet so slow, if you had told us 4 years ago we could of got to where we did and had the calibre of riders we had we, are not sure we would have believed it was possible.”

“It still feels like unfinished business and we are hopeful that some members of the team will pull something out of the ashes. It would not take too much to put a great team back on the road, it’s ironical that we would of had an even stronger team in 2018, hopefully it’s too good a set up to die!”
“We hope this is not the end totally but if it is we can all be proud of what we achieved Many thanks and undying gratitude to all who have helped” -Mike Morgan DS CatfordCC Equipe/Banks.

The other two teams as far as I know, are yet to confirm they are folding but insiders have certainly confirmed that as it stands, those teams, will not be racing in 2018. That may change as sponsors come forward to rescue them and as the major (National A) British road race events season is still many months away, there is time for that to happen.

But change is certainly in the air. Only this lunchtime, Cherie Pridham Racing announced that they will be parting with long time sponsor Raleigh UK who are switching their support to the French Lapierre brand when it comes to performance bikes. The press release confirmed however that Cherie, despite losing a major brand like Raleigh, worked tirelessly to ensure that the team will continue.

“We have an exciting new project in the making” says team owner Cherie Pridham, “and we are looking forward to 2018 with a new energy and ambition as a new UCI Continental team. Watch this space!”

That isn’t the only change. Yesterday, VeloUK revealed the new team for Grant Bayton called Steele Davis Via Roma RT and headed up by Marcin Bialoblocki will be road race based (regional and national A) and with an engine like Marcin, in it is sure to see its colours at the front of races.

Another team, again domestic, not UCI, is being put together by a former winner of the Star Trophy (Premier Calendar) series and after being a domestique in another team, will go back to having a team ride for him and has a new lease of life with that challenge. And whilst not a new team, Brother NRG will be in new kit in 2018 as they become Ribble Pro Cycling.

That isn’t all however. Another team, development based, is being put together and is probably the most high profile of the new teams, Holdsworth, led by Russell Downing but with a strong Irish connection and rumour is, at least one Italian and Australian in the line-up. They are for sure going to shake up the domestic races!

So whilst it is sad that there have been teams, some with a long history in the sport, that could well be lost to the scene for at least one season, there will be new teams and new colours in the peloton in 2018. Add to that mix the prospect of disc brake bikes, things will certainly look different in 2018.

The calendar will also see some change with a new event in Bristol on July 7 (may change) rumoured to be on the cards and to be added to the events we had this year kicking off with the Tour of the Wolds returning (Lincolnshire) on April 8.

The other Prems are rumoured to be Chorley GP (April 15), Klondike GP (North Yorkshire) (April 29), Lincoln GP (May 13), Tour of the Reservoir (Northumberland) (June 23/24), Stockton Road Race (July 15), Leicester Kermesse (August 12) and Ryedale GP (North Yorkshire) (26th August).

Of the established teams, JLT Condor and Madison Genesis have already confirmed their line ups and whilst we have not heard anything from the Bike Channel team managed by Tim Elverson, we do know of rider changes in that line up and it is expected to be on the start line of the major British events in 2018.

The pro scene may not be as lively and with as much money in it as many think it has, having seen the domestic scene over the years, the fact there is an extra UCI team and other teams coming into the sport, three I know of, the sport will continue to be team based as it has been and the level as high as ever. Any teams (men and women) wanting to reveal their line ups, email us now … the road season is getting ever closer ;-)






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