Joanna & Hannah Ripley at the Castle CX race. Photo from Racing Team

Joanna Rycroft and Hannah Saville at the Castle CX race. Photo from Racing Team

Although last year seemed to be a high watermark for team news, with every other day seeming to add something new to the fray, this summer has been relatively calm. However, the small addition of team news we’re proud to help out is the United Kingdom’s Racing Team, which has currently grown since its beginnings two years ago. Below is the latest developments from the words of the team overseas:

Three of the Racing Team’s young riders will be tackling the forthcoming 2015-16 Cyclo-Cross season on Raleigh’s RX Race bikes, thanks to a new deal with the cycle manufacturer.

The team’s three under-23 category riders Hannah Saville, Joanna Rycroft and Edwyn Oliver-Evans, will be competing in both National and Regional race series, plus the season ending National Championships in January 2016. They will all be riding bikes from Raleigh’s new 2016 Cyclo-Cross range, which for the first time includes female specific bikes.

The trio have already tasted success on two wheels in 2015, with Hannah the reigning Yorkshire Junior Champion, Joanna holding the Three Peak under-23 title and course record and Edwyn a recent double medallist in GB colours at the European Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships.

The Racing Team is run by veteran riders Steve Smales and Ted Sarmiento and Ted believes the Raleigh deal will give the team a significant boost: “We are all super excited by the additional help Raleigh is offering the team. Having top-class equipment is crucial in a sport which puts both riders and bikes through extremely demanding conditions. Hannah, Joanna and Edwyn will all benefit hugely from Raleigh’s support. All three are training hard and can’t wait to test their new hardware in race conditions. Roll on winter!”

Pippa Wibberley, Raleigh Sales and Marketing Director commented. “Raleigh has always been committed to supporting young riders to help progress their careers in cycling. Cyclo-Cross offers us an excellent chance to help these young riders become the World Champions of the future.”

Hannah, the team’s newest and youngest rider is hoping to live up to Raleigh’s prestigious reputation as a world-class bike builder: “I’m really looking forward to racing the ‘cross season aboard a Raleigh bike, especially at the Three Peaks race this September, where, hopefully, the bike will help me be competitive. I really appreciate the support from Raleigh and I’m stoked to be able to try out a race orientated female specific bike. It’s a vast improvement from the current bikes I’m riding and I hope I can do them justice this season by racing hard and getting them muddy!”

Joanna Rycroft takes to the course. Photo by Racing Team

Team Background

In the summer of 2013 Steve Smales & Ted Sarmiento set up a cyclocross specific racing team with the help of Cyclocross Magazine in the USA to support and develop talented riders here in the UK.

In our first season we recruited Sarah Murray and Edwyn Oliver-Evans who both made it onto the podium of the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race in the U23 category, with Sarah winning her race outright with a new course record. Last season our new rider Joanna Rycroft repeated the same, setting another course record while Sarah raced the UCI world level elite race in China and finished the season ranked 11th Nationally with her 7th overall in the National Trophy and 12th place finish in the National Championships. Edwyn had a difficult season due to a broken kneecap but came back strongly to finish 14th Nationally and Joanna also managed top 20 in the Trophy and 22nd in the Champs.

The performances combined with our eye-catching kit and cyclocross specific sponsor has meant we have delivered great publicity for the magazine, clothing and component suppliers along with having an active social media presence.

For 2015-6 our three supported riders are Joanna Rycroft, Hannah Saville and Edwyn Oliver-Evans with Sarah having been recruited by Torq Performance MTB team, which we consider a highly successful outcome. Our riders are expecting to ride the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race and very unusually they will be competing as father & daughter/son teams as well. We will also be racing the Yorkshire, North-East and South-West regions along with the National Trophy and Championships, the highest level of UK cyclocross racing. We also hope to take the team to Belgium for some international racing experience and exposure.

Twitter: @cxmagazineRT