Interview: Ribble Pro Cycling

Whilst a few UCI teams have folded at the end of this years road season, others have made applications to go UCI like Ribble Pro Cycling – we chatted to them

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Interview: Ribble Pro Cycling

The Ribble Pro Cycling team has been around for six years and after a very successful season in 2018 with notable wins like John Archibald’s victory in the 10 mile time trial championship, the team have applied for a UCI licence for 2019.

Speaking with the team, they told me this application was partly pre-empted by the way the cycling scene in Britain was going with teams like JLT Condor and One Pro closing. The application to go UCI say the team, was a year earlier than planned but thanks to their great sponsors and a great core group of riders, they say the timing was right.

At the time of writing, that application is still going through British Cycling and whilst that process continues, the team are making new signings like Scott Auld who was an Elite National rider in France this year and Jacob Tipper who rejoins the squad after a season with the UCI team Memil. Another signing has also been made from one of the teams that has folded which will strengthen the team even more and news on that when it’s made public.

At the time we spoke with the team, the team’s main sponsor, Ribble Cycles, was launching an enhanced range of road bikes so the step up for the team fits in well with their sponsors lofty ambitions in the market place. “We have been part of the development process for certain models like the time trial bike and they are happy with how we are supporting them and we’re certainly happy with the support they are giving the team.”

Talking about the key reasons for going UCI, the team told me “I think there are various reasons” they say. “One, seeing the teams folding at the end of this season was really sad for the sport in the UK is one and I think also we have gone as far as we can competing in the UK. With the support of Ribble Cycles, it would be good to take the team to the big UCI events in Britain and that has got to be the number one objective for us, to throw our hat in the ring in the hope of riding races like that.”

Talking about their riders, the team say “We have a really strong core group of 11 or so riders and we have the capacity to go to 16 or even 18 riders as some of our riders are classed as specialists like track specialists for example.”

When asked for names, the team confirmed that the likes of Dan Bigham, Simon Wilson, Gruff Lewis, Alex Luhrs, Will Corbett and John Archibald to name but just a some of those who will return in the team’s colours along with the new signings.

At the time of writing, Ribble tell us that the team will be riding the Aero 883, one of many high performance models in the Ribble Cycles range and their most aero bike.

Speaking to Ribble Cycles MD, Andy Smallwood, he told VeloUK, “The team is really important to us, One, from a product development perspective, we have really good riders on our products doing the kind of mileage annually that a lot of our customers would only do in five or ten years. So we get a lot of great feedback from the team.”

“It is also great to support a team, one which isn’t a pro tour one with all these superstars but one that is down to earth, a grass roots level team that is racing day in – day out at a high level as well as in grass roots events. We also have a lot of up and coming riders in the team as well and the Junior and under 23 element part of the team is very important to us in giving these riders the opportunity to progress their career in a team environment.”

“For us, it’s about having world class products and making them attainable to all riders so for example we have a TT bike that has won the national 10 Champs individually and team and it’s a frameset that’s available to the customer for only 1200 pounds, the same frameset these guys have won national titles on. We’re about giving customers world class performance at an achievable price point.”

More on the Ribble Pro Cycling team as news is released and thank you to them for talking to VeloUK.

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