Feature: VeloUK – How it began

As many of you will not have been in the sport when I began here in the UK in the late 90s (after a few years of racing), you probably won’t remember my first ever website EchelonVelo and then my years at British Cycling. 

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

VeloUK – how it began… As many of you will not have been in the sport when I began here in the UK in the late 90s (after a few years of racing), you probably won’t remember my first ever website EchelonVelo and then my years at British Cycling.

Back in March 2011, the third chapter of my work serving the sport of cycling began with VeloUK.net

The first thing I must do is thank everyone at the time who made this possible. From Mary Gill and Jonathan Beckett who helped me through the early stages of learning how to create a Word Press website, to the sponsors many of whom are still with me, to all those who have encouraged me to do this and the well wishers on Twitter and Facebook (far to numerous to mention all by name!).

Since the late 90s, I have been covering the sport of cycle racing in Britain. It all started by accident with me wanting to learn HTML programming for the software company Digita who I worked for at the time. That was EchelonVelo. Those who have been round long enough, remind me that there was a printed version as well! I was then headhunted, always a nice thing for the CV that, by Peter Cossins (former editor of ProCycling and writes books) who at the time in 2011 worked for Rivals.net and EchelonVelo went commercial along with another website inspired by Peter, the Daily Peloton. There, I worked hard and was rewarded by meeting lots of people and built up a large and loyal following, many of whom I am lucky enough to still know today.

Rivals though, for whatever reason, decided to get rid of a lot of niche sports and that included cycling. Before I could really worry about what was going to happen to EchelonVelo though, I was headhunted again, this time, by Stuart Hallam, then a member of the board of British Cycling. A meeting took place at Luton airport, all very grand I thought at the time, and I was soon working for British Cycling part time.

At the time of joining, the following appeared in the UK Sport Magazine (May 2002) which shows the value that British Cycling placed on my arrival at that time. “Another site well worth a visit is the excellent www.britishcycling.org.uk, recently relaunched by British Cycling, which contains a wealth of the up-to-date news from the sport, including a comprehensive results service, photo galleries and interviews.”

So, between 2001 and 2011, I was doing that for the governing body of the sport, British Cycling. However, that organisation changed the moment that Sky became involved and in order to get back to the grass roots and closer to the sport I have the same passion for now that I did when I was 14, I resigned when they wanted to change my contract and take me away from the sport. So many of you had been in touch to say how much they missed the old EchelonVelo and thus, VeloUK was born.

A shorter, snappier name which is quick to type out was given to the site (IE, VeloUK) and after my last job for British Cycling, the Para-Cycling Worlds in Italy 2011 (could not have wanted for a better send off!), I got to work on the website that now sits before you. Since then, I have covered upwards of 50 to 90 race days a year, taking pictures, getting interviews and seeing people who have over the last two decades became friends. The website combined with the VeloUK social media, sees updates seven days a week, 364 days a year concentrating on the domestic sport but also not forgetting the international racing as well.

Since then, the following on social media and website readership has continued to grow and continues to do so 😉 and that is down to my awesome sponsors:
Brother UK: A household name that has helped me keep this website going for many years now. Thank you Brother UK Cycling!

Cycle Division (Bike shop/Cero wheels): A very long running sponsor who like Brother UK, financially have kept the website afloat – no pay per view on here people!

Bioracer UK : A very loyal and long running sponsor from people part of the fabric of the sport. Custom kit #speedwear

Madison UK: Former sponsors of Madison Genesis, one of the top pro teams in the country and the UK’s leading distributor of cycle parts and accessories as well as Freewheel #localbikeshoponline

Shutt Velo Rapide & Prendas Ciclismo: A very very long time sponsor! When it comes to clothing, off the shelf, classic and custom; they do it all!

Ribble Cycles: A company thats been around since the 1800s! They know bikes like no other and are at the forefront of the latest race and gravel bikes, commuter bikes and ebikes and so much more.

Merlin Cycles : Not just a great bike shop in Chorley but one of the leading online retailers as well who know racing so well!

MODA Bikes /DHW Agencies: Moda Bikes, Spinergy wheelsets and much more run by a legend of the sport, Dave Williams. #winner

Conti Tyres : Another loyal and so so helpful sponsor who distribute the worlds leading brand of bike tyres, Continental.

Dave Mellor Cycles : The relationships with Dave Mellor goes back to when we both worked for the Great Britain team and continues to this day. What a huge shop they have in Shrewsbury and even better, what a lot they put back into the sport with British championships in cyclocross, time trials, circuit races and so much more. Dave is the rock the sport stands on in his region!

trainSharp Cycling: yet another long long standing sponsor of VeloUK who coach some of the leading riders the country – they even have a coach who is one of the leading riders!

Velotech Services Ltd: a quality distributor (just been nominated as a Distributor of the Year!) of quality products like Rotor, Cbear, ClosetheGap & more and who put back into the sport in a big way sponsoring teams like their own Rotor Race Team UK and the leading womens team, Pro-Noctis.

Santini Custom UK: Finally, but certainly not least! The latest sponsor to come on board who have been so good to me this year and VeloUK. As sponsors have drifted away the last three years during the Covid times, Jon at Santini Custom UK came to us at the end of last season and has been with us all year. That has certainly made a difference at helping me be at so many events as I am. Santini Cycling Wear sponsorship has been such a help and lets face it, the name on World champion jerseys, Tour de France jerseys and so much more is a pretty huge brand to have sponsoring me!

So, please, come on board! My sponsors mean the world to me and VeloUK is the leading website for domestic results along with so much more on social media like the photos, the rider interviews and news and I am looking ahead to yet another season on the road in 2023! All my sponsors have their brand names pushed out to everyone visiting the website and on social media and that is many many thousands of readers/followers. With the running of the website, vehicles to be at races (car or motorhome) and general equipment (cameras/phones etc), the help of sponsors is always needed. Sadly, I have half the sponsors I did five years ago. Anyone who knows me will know I do not get rich off the back of this sponsorship. It all goes into the running of the website and what I do for it. So please get in touch and become part of the leading website for domestic racing – #VeloUK – help make a difference 😃

CONTACT US: https://www.velouk.net/contact-us/


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