Feature: Ribble Get Ride in Yorkshire

Ribble Pro Cycling are one of six British UCI Continential teams to get invited to race the Tour of Yorkshire – we quiz them on that opportunity

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Feature: Ribble Get Ride in Yorkshire

CEO of sponsor Ribble Cycles, Andy Smallwood , says of selection, “It’s been great to see and be part of the development of the Ribble Pro Cycling team over the past two seasons. From the number 1 road team in the British Cycling rankings last year moving on to the world stage this season, and the team have done an amazing job. I can’t wait to see the team on their Ribble bikes in the mix at the Tour De Yorkshire in May”.

We also have a Q&A with the team boss…

1. What does it mean to the team to be in one of the country’s biggest races?
Ribble Pro Cycling: It’s really big for us, of course. The race is on our doorstep and is arguably the biggest British race this year, taking on extra significance because of the Yorkshire road worlds. It really validates our decision to make the progression to UCI Continental status.

2. How difficult will it be to select the riders in the team for this very tough and high profile race?
Ribble Pro Cycling: It will be tough of course. We sat down and decided a long list for all the potential major races we might be competing in so we’ve had a rough idea for a while. We’ve a strong team and sure we can put on a show.

3. How does a team go about choosing which riders get the nod for this huge event?
Ribble Pro Cycling: It’s about managing expectations and being realistic. We’ve been completely analytical and looked at the demands of the events and the strengths of each rider. If you’re injured early season, have you had the required build up? If you’re a great at single day events, but potentially don’t have the condition to back that up day in day out is the race for you? We’ve sat down and talked to the riders and everyone has clear goals for the season, so I don’t think any of the riders will be too disappointed. Everyone knows they’ll get their chance at some point, and that’s one of the strengths of the team as it means everyone is willing to work towards a goal at each event.

4. Does this mean extra work for the team now to recce the stages?
Ribble Pro Cycling: Not as such, as we discussed riding the stages in training bears little or no resemblance to riding them in races. We will profile all the stages and have a really good look at a lot of the potential major elements of each without riding them.

5. Has the team given thought to the strategy for the race? IE, breakaways, GC, stage results?
Ribble Pro Cycling: We will try our best to think outside the box, and probably won’t follow the traditional approach. We will likely have one rider aiming to ride a consistent GC race with the rest focusing on specific goals and objectives within the race.

6. Does this opportunity for the riders give them an extra boost in motivation knowing they have this challenge ahead of them.
Ribble Pro Cycling: We’ve already seen a massive motivation boost from the riders simply for taking that step up to UCI continental level. They know they have the platform and support to really shine and show their strengths, so now it’s down to the riders to perform. We’re not going to the race to be intimidated and try and get round, but to show what we can do.

7. Will your race programme be amended ahead of Yorkshire or training camps added to prepare for the race.
Ribble Pro Cycling: No, we have a full calendar and we would always have a full calendar. The best preparation for racing is racing regardless, so we’re not going to be moving things around. As a team, we also really value the work all the British organisers put into the sport, so we’re certainly not planning on pulling riders out of events to go and do training rides. All the riders are in good on our long list are in good shape and have a nice mix of racing over the next few weeks leading up to the event.

8. Finally, what is the reaction from the sponsors of the team when they hear the news of the team getting a ride in this huge event?
Ribble Pro Cycling: They’re obviously delighted, but we look for partnerships that are about more than just one event, great as it is. We’ve great relationships with our sponsors and we value their support, so this is just one part of repaying their investment over the whole season. I’m sure some of the Ribble staff might ‘cross the border’ from Lancashire to Yorkshire however to come and watch!



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