Team News: Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling

British UCI team, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, are heading to Saudi Arabia for an ASO organised five stage race there starting on February 4th

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Team News: Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling

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Team off to Saudi Arabia

British UCI team, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, are heading to Saudi Arabia for an ASO organised five stage race there starting on February 4th. The team applied to ride the race after it was announced by ASO and received a late call up to be part of this first edition of the event. “We are undoubtedly the smallest team in the race, but believe our performances at the Tour of Yorkshire helped, alongside all our constant efforts to promote and market ourselves as a credible, well ran, professional organisation” said a team spokesman.

The team at another ASO event, the Tour de Yorkshire, in 2019

The race has five stages and three of them look quite flat whilst two of them are littered with some bergs. With teams like Bahrain McLaren sending sprinters like Mark Cavendish, the race could be a controlled one but then the cross winds in the region may have something to say about that. New signing at the team, Olly Moors agrees. “I think the race will be mainly for the sprinters but that doesn’t mean we can underestimate the parcour.”

“Cross winds could play a huge part in how the race pans out. The moment a wisp of wind comes from the side, the bigger teams could seize an opportunity to make life difficult in that moment and try splitting the race. There are days with some very steep kickers and that could play into the hands of the punchy riders like Rui Costa. Regardless, you can’t relax and take your eye off the ball, especially in a race with the power and experience of these squads!”

The race, which is very early in the season for the team, will see Ribble Weldtite take a strong squad to Saudi Arabia. Zeb Kyffin and new recruit Steve Lampier will be taking a GC approach whilst another new signing, Charles Page (from Canyon DHB) and Jacob Tipper will look to the sprints to chase a result. Olly Moors, Jack Rees and Richard Jones will be there for support and breakaway opportunities. Looking after the riders in the race is Sean McNicholl who will be the team’s DS for the race supported by his son Michael. Martin Teece-Round is the team’s mechanic looking after their Ribble bikes and James Huntley is there it take the pictures.

There was talk at the Cycle Show last year the team will be on new Ribble bikes in 2020. Those new bikes though won’t be in the riders hands until their two week training camp in Calpe in February. This means in Saudi, the team will be on sparkly blue Ribble SLR bikes from 2019 equipped with SRAM Red, Level Wheels and Conti tubeless tires. The Level wheels are part of a move towards Ribble’s in house components so watch out for some really nice stuff coming from them.

Zeb Kyffin on the 2019 Ribble Cycles SLR at the Ryedale GP  – a new bike is coming to the team soon

To prepare for the race, the Ribble Weldtite team has been getting some last minute warm weather training as Jacob Tipper explains. “I was sat in the same Cafe as Cav (Mark Cavendish) a few weeks ago, so I can only assume all other build up has been identical. But in all seriousness, this race came at fairly short notice, and there is only so much you can do in 2-3 weeks. We have all had a good winter’s training and most of us have spent some time abroad in slightly warmer climates, so we will be positive going into it. There’s no pressure on us as this is just a massive bonus race that comes really early, and we will still hope to take any opportunities that come our way”.

Zeb Kyffin from the team adds “as a team, we are looking to step up and be more competitive throughout the year at this level. So this is a perfect early season test to see how the team performs together as well as great exposure for the team at the highest level. It will be great for the riders to have a big race in the legs before their forthcoming targets. That said, some of the lads are going really well in training so if we support them well, you never know what we could pull off!”

Being a new event, and one from a high profile organiser (ASO), the event is sure to provide the potential for some brilliant exposure for the team in the media. The uniqueness of racing in the dessert against such high profile riders will also no doubt be something that will be etched in the memories of individual riders in the team who will get to experience the Saudi Arabian culture and start the year really positively with a tough block of racing.”

The new recruit to the team, Charles Page, who had some great results with Canyon DHB says of the opportunity for the team’s riders in the Saudi Tour, “I’d say that everyone on the team has different ambitions for the race, but everyone’s goals handily coincide.”

“The fact the race is in a part of the world most of us have never been to, really makes this an early season highlight of which we certainly want to capitalise on. Primarily though, we’re all looking forward to what is a mega opportunity to be competing amongst some of the stars of the sport. Plus being the first race of the season, it’s a fantastic way to start gelling as a squad ahead of what should be an exciting season to come!”

Good luck to the Ribble Cycles sponsored team in The Saudi Tour
Twitter: @thesauditour



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