Great news for Twenty3c.co.uk/Focus Bikes team as they get a guest spot in the Tour Series and announce new signing of Stephen Adams.
A great supporter of VeloUK is the Twenty3c bike shop at Stony Stratford (near Milton Keynes) who sponsor the Twenty3c.co.uk/Focus Bikes racing team. VeloUK popped by on the way to the Tour of Britain launch which is always a treat. Stony Stratford is an olde world village north of Milton Keynes and in an arcade off the high street is the Twenty3c shop with bikes for all budgets.
I spied everything from a top of the range Colnago (bike p0rn of the highest order) to well equipped bikes under £1000 as well as a large range of accessories. There were also plenty of bikes being serviced or assembled for customers.
Whilst there, company director Ceri showed me the new website for the shop - www.twenty3c.co.uk - and was pleased to announce that not only had they signed one of Britain’s top riders, Stephen Adams, they also had a guest ride in the Tour Series. The latter visits the area of the country where many of their riders live, the Eastern region, three times in 2013 and the Twenty3c.co.uk/Focus bikes team will riding in a few of those for the second year in a row.
“To be invited to the Tour Series as a guest team for the second year in a row is fantastic” Ceri told VeloUK. “We have a mixed squad, some have ridden the series previously and have achieved some solid top 10′s and been mixing it with the bigger teams, and at the same time we have riders who are new to this format”.
New signing for the team, Stephen Adams, has been in the top 10 in Tour Series races many times whilst Oli Rossi was third to Ed Clancy in a race a few weeks ago and was then 6th in the Peter Young Memorial. The team also has expereinced riders such as Andy Lyons to help them make the most of these opportunities ina series of races on great circuits in front of fantastic crowds and a real big event race atmosphere.
“Sweetspot do a great job of organising and bringing the races to the general public” says Ceri “and it’s definitely helping to change the perception of cycling in the UK”. For a business like Ceri’s, the Tour Series also offers a unique opportunity for her riders to make a name for themselves and their sponsors, on TV which is why Sweetsport more than any other organisation has helped the sport over the last decade in Britain.
The signing of Stephen Adams (below in last year’s series) to wear the team’s colours is a good move for a series that many rider will testify is hardcore racing. “Stephen is a late addition to our line-up for 2013 but looking at his results over the last couple of years tells you we would have been mad not to sign him” says Ceri.
“With Stephen, we have a real mix of riders and now we have confirmation of a guest spot in the Tour Series, it will be great to mix it with the bigger teams once again. Stephen rode strongly in the series last year with a number of top 10′s so his experience will be invaluable to help the younger riders” added Ceri.
My thanks to Ceri for her time last Thursday and click here to see what they have in their sale. With discounts of up to 43%, Twenty3c have loads of many great value bargains including Garmin mounts, tubeless tyres, chain catchers, wheels, lights, SiS energy products, shoes, bikes, turbos (needed right now I expect!) and lots more.
The presentation for the 2013 Twenty3c.co.uk/Focus cycling team was held today at the Prodrive complex near Banbury.
Surrounded by classic racing cars in the Prodrive showroom, the riders in the team sponsored by Twenty3c.co.uk bike shop in Stony Stratford (Milton Keynes) and Focus bikes were presented to public and media alike.
Also at the launch was the bike the team will race in 2013 from Focus and equipped with SRAM groupsets. More on that bike to come shortly.
The cycling team is entering its fourth year and for 2013, the team have strengthened their squad, retaining Wojciech Szlachta, Rhys Howells, and Luke Ryan whilst Andy Lyons and Dean Shannon remain as team managers and riders.
New riders include four young Eastern Region based riders in Olli Rossi who joins from Rapha-Condor, Dave Nichols looking to build on his last two years in Belgium, Owen Lake who joins from the Cambridge CC after a very promising 2012 and Adam Norris the former Junior National RR Champ. The team is completed by Devon based Pete Vincent who is also looking to build on a very strong 2012.
Team manager Andy Lyons who is one of the most experienced riders in the country explained that he’ll still be racing with the team. “I hope to be racing as much as I have previously but I am going to have to give up quite a few weekends to help the team and do the team manager role.”
“We have a stronger team having taken on some new riders. We had three go and five come in and I really feel we’ll do something this year. One of the goals will to be to get a guest ride in the Tour Series.
“We haven’t got the budget to do all of them as much as I’d like to” says Andy. “It’s fantastic, not just for the riders but sponsors but the logistics of getting to the races midweek up and down the country makes doing them all impossible because the lads all work.”
The team though are intending to do all the Premiers which although they are all up north, because there are only six, does make it easier. “That suits our budget where as when I used to ride them there were 18 or 19 of them which was too many”.
Andy explained that he’s hoping the racing in Britain will be more open now that Endura are no longer in the peloton to boss the races. He adds that racing in the south where the team is based also hasn’t changed a great deal over the years.
“You have more bike riders now but the level of racing (aside of no Prems) is the same. You probably have fewer races in the South but not massively.” Asked about how his form is as he prepares for yet another season, Andy replies “the fitness is good”.
Andy trains with one of the worlds top pros, Alex Dowsett of Movistar and says of that “Its’ fantastic riding with someone like Alex because I have seen him racing since he was 15 and you could see how good he was then. It’s not just a buzz for me to ride with him but all the local lads.”
Ceri Dipple from the Twenty3c.co.uk bike shop at Stony Stratford is pleased with the 2013 line up. “It’s our third year being involved in the team which has progressed over time. Last year we stepped back and helped the guys develop but this year we want to see the team get our name out there.”
“The guys race around the country and whilst they are predominantly based in Essex and not local to the bike shop it does help us get our brand out there more. Whilst we could sponsor individual riders, that doesn’t have the same effect as sponsoring the team.”
“A project like this does take a lot of time but we have good guys like Andy and Dean helping us out and they’re invaluable. So whilst we are investing money and time into the team, it’s certainly worth it.”
Ceri added that in 2013 she won’t be racing so is hoping to get to more races and help the team out adding that seeing them do well wearing the Twenty3c.co.uk brand name gives her more of a buzz than when she was racing herself.
Twenty3c.co.uk-Focus has continued support from specialist clothing manufacturer Shutt Velo Rapide and Oriel Securities who have been integral backers of the team for three years. Italian helmet and glasses manufacturer Salice also continue their sponsorship of the team as do tyre manufacturer Clement who will be supplying the team with their Strada LGG road tyres and Poole based Prendas Ciclismo who will continue to supply their stylish cycling accessories.
Ceri Dipple of Twenty3c was also pleased to announce new sponsorship from nutrition providers Clif, SRAM, Kinetic Road Machine turbo trainers, Paceline Chamois Butt’r and Lizard Skin DSP bar tape.
“The support of these additional sponsors is invaluable and helps make it possible for the smaller teams like ours to function and to compete against big budget UCI registered UK teams” Ceri explained.Riders
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