Twenty3c-Focus Launch 2013
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 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.
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.
Thanks to Larry from VeloUK for the words and James Whatling for the images.
The team launch for our Twenty3c-Focus elite team will be held at Prodrive on Saturday 2nd February and would love it if you could join us.
The launch will give you a chance to meet our team riders and see the new 2013 Focus Izalco Pro team bikes. There will be drinks (and a few cakes of course!) and a chance to see some of the fantastic cars on display at the venue (that’s right 4 wheeled machines with engines!).
The doors will be open from 10.30 and the launch will kick off around 11am.
Address - Prodrive, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 3ER. You will need to go to the main Prodrive reception which is signposted and we will meet you there.
Directions – From the M40,
Leave the Motorway at Junction 11 and take the exit from the roundabout signposted Banbury Town Centre. Follow this road to the next roundabout and take the third exit signposted Wildmere Industrial Estate. Follow the road through two sets of traffic lights. At the point where the road bears to the left indicate right and take the straight road ahead which runs in front of the Central Laboratories. Visitor parking spaces are located to the right of the main reception.
If you have any questions about the event please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to have you there.