Team News: Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK

Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK start their season at Aintree as they prepare for the big races to come in April – we speak to boss Cherie Pridham

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Team News: Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK

The road season in Britain is such a short intense season with a lot riding on the results from the races, qualification for the Tour of Britain being the big one, that teams do not have the luxury as they do in Europe of having training races in the big events.

If there are to be races where teams need to get riders race fit, get new bikes and clothing sorted and essentially come together as a unit ready to take on their rivals in the first big road races, then those events tend to be the early season ‘British classics’ and training camps.

For Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK, the first step in that process was at the Eddie Soens on Saturday where they were the only UCI team with a full squad on the start line. As team boss Cherie Pridham explained before the race, the season start is a like new beginning for them with totally new bikes and kit as well as a squad of eleven new riders along with the three from 2018.

Last weekend was meant to be a good double header of events to shake down the new equipment and kit and give the riders some time racing together but in the end, the only race they had was the Eddie Soens as the one in France the next day was cancelled due to the weather.

Whilst admitting it was a super display of racing from Matt Bottrill to win the Eddie Soens race and lap the field, Cherie was happy enough with the team’s performance in their first race.

The Vitus Pro Cycling team p/b Brother UK led by Classics and Tour de France rider Scott Thwaites

“We had the strongest team here, so it was always going to be up to us to take on the race. The positives are that we did exactly that. Credit to Adam Kenway. He gave it a good go and for a while it looked as if his group ( two up with Simon Wilson of Ribble Pro Cycling) might stay away. Had they done so, things might have been different.”

Adam and Simon Wilson had gone off the front early on in the race not knowing Bottrill was out front as he had started in a different group and was now out of sight. Adam and Simon spent probably 20 or more laps off the front chasing Bottrill before a chase group chasing Matt who had attacked again, hunted Kenway and Wilson down in the closing laps.

Asked what was important about travelling to Europe which is no easy task for any team, Cherie explained “For the more experienced guys, racing in Europe gives them that faster speed preparation with strong pro conti teams in the race so the event would have been very competitive and given us a good start to the season. Our season in Britain is so short, it is not a case of selecting events to do well in, we have to have guys who are capable of winning races every time so you need to get up and running very quickly.”
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Cherie added that it is not as easy as everyone thinks to get into the UCI events abroad. Take the Tour of Normandie where only one British team (Madison Genesis) has been selected. “You have to go through an application process and sometimes you are lucky and sometimes not” Cherie explained.

Cherie added that they do have a stage race in France between the Klondike GP and CiCLE Classic, Tour du Loir et Cher, which is great timing for them. The team will also have a training camp next week (starting the 16th) in Spain. “It’s the first time I’ll have all fourteen riders on the road together since the Track Worlds and it will give us the opportunity to do four good days of specific training efforts as well as give the riders time to meet and ride with our sponsors”.

The team will then have two or three weeks of British races at events like the ones at Coalville and Danum Trophy to put the finishing touches on the squad’s race fitness as a unit before the big test at Klondike where the team has a former winner in its ranks, in Chris Latham.

Good luck to them at their training camp next week



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