The iconic Italian racing marque Colnago is set to feature in some of the UK’s top domestic bike races in 2010, with the news that it has become official bike supplier to the Yeovil-based Pendragon Sports / Le Col / Colnago professional cycling team.
The team, which raced in 2009 under the Pendragon Kalas name, plans to compete next year in the Premier Calendar, Nocturne Series, National Circuit series and the Tour Series, subject to invite, as well as other races.
Cycling event and holiday business Pendragon Sports continues its sponsorship, and as well as Colnago, is joined this year by bike clothing brand Le Col, owned by former GB international rider Yanto Barker, who is one of 11 riders confirmed by the team for 2010.
Barker said: “I returned to racing in 2009 and fell in love with the sport again. I’m training for a full season on the road next year and wanted to put something back into the sport and the Pendragon Sports / Le Col / Colnago team is the perfect vehicle for this.”
He will be joined at the team by riders including Chris Opie, winner of a stage at this year’s Ronde De Antwerp and the Australian Casey Munro who arrives from the South African UCI Continental outfit, Konica Minolta.
Team principal Nick Bourne says: “We are very excited about the team and we aim to continue developing the squad to UCI Continental level so we will be capable of competing in the Tour of Britain within two years.”
He added: “Support of the team fits well with our company focus on cycling development within schools in the South West and activities which include cyclosportives and cycle tourism.”
Indeed, encouraging younger people to take up the sport is a central pillar of the team’s philosophy and it aims to provide a gateway to help young riders in the South West develop their talents to enable them to compete on the national stage and beyond.
And that starts at grassroots level, according to the team. By the end of January, it says that four of its riders, including Opie, will have become Level 2 Go-Ride Coaches and will also have been trained as Bikeability instructors.
The intention is to generate interest in cycling through Bikeability, then point young riders towards their local Go-Ride club.
According to Bourne, “the aim is to increase grassroots club membership and develop the next generation of talent. Working within British Cycling's Whole Sport Plan 2009-2013 which includes regional performance coaching, we aim to be able to provide the team with the best talent from the region in the years to come.”
“Additionally, we aim to grow a fan base for the team both through participation at live events and on TV,” he continues. “We’d like to think that those pupils being taught by our riders will be inspired to spectate and participate.”
The full roster of riders, staff and suppliers is:
Elite: Jack Adams, Yanto Barker, David Clarke, Steve Lampier, Rhys Lloyd, Casey Munro, Chris Opie, Richard Tanguy, James Williams; First: Kieran Frend, George Richardson
Director Sportive: Brian Johnson & Graeme Lackford
Team Principal: Nick Bourne
Mechanic: Bennet Wright
Official team product suppliers: FSA (Stem, bars, crank), Vision (Wheels), Oakley (Sunglasses), Bont (Shoes), Bell (Helmets), Accelerade (Sports nutrition), Continental (Tyres)
Official team service provider: Medical services (blood testing and healthcare services): Circle healthcare
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.