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Raleigh - ERV Women's Cycling Team Start Their Year With a Splash

Thetford, Norfolk 

Wet 'n' Wild Teambuilding Break

With the pressure of the winter’s cyclo-cross off, the Raleigh-ERV Team took themselves away to Center Parcs in Thetford, Norfolk, for a weekend to meet new team members and enjoy a relaxed team building break.

Following the success of London’s Olympic bid and recruitment during the onset of the winter months the age structure of the Team has changed and now includes 8 riders under 18 years of age. The philosophy behind this move is for the riders to bond from an early age as a team, engender respect for one another so by the time they reach senior level emerge with the attitude of seasoned professionals. An aspect we believe is lacking in womans cycling, but crucial for their own future, and that of the sport.

The team will continue its policy of competing in all disciplines this year.

Joining senior Team riders Brenda Pennell, Siobhan Mullan and Michelle Bergstrand are experienced riders Rosie de Remedios, Lisa Hollingshead and Kim Blythe.

Elite rider Sophie Johnson will be leading the mountain bike team both at the National Series and World Cup races. Juniors Marie Stuart and Monica Eden, and youth riders Annie Simpson and Annie Last will ride again both home and abroad, giving that vital experience for the transition to senior level.

On the Enduro scene, Irish elite champion Beth McClusky will be riding World Cup races and the World Marathon champs, with Scottish cyclo-cross champ Caroline Wallace will be competing in the UK Enduros as well as Fort William cross country World Cup. Adventure racer Nicola Macleod will continue her exploits worldwide.

On the road, we will continue to support the WCRA, as the Team boasts the individual champion, as well as competing in the Team Series and the National series. We are also lined up to compete in Spain and the youth riders will compete in Belgium and Holland.

With all under 18 age riders riding the track as part of British Cycling’s talent team programme, the team will have a major visible presence throughout the year. These include World Championship Junior silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, and junior Jenny Middlehurst, and youth riders Greta Junker and Lucy Martin. This will also be backed up by seniors, Siobhan Mullan and Kim Blythe.

To enable us to move forward following the success of the last year, the management structure, and the philosophy of the team, has evolved for the long term development and future benefit of its riders.

The team now not only has a strong management company to support the riders but also a company that gives something back to the sponsors. So we are not just there with our hands out asking for money. We want and expect to be in partnership with a sponsor. Every cycling sponsor knows they get plenty of exposure but they also want more than a name on a shirt. Both parties want to make a marketing and promotional success from cycling.

We are convinced that this is the future for the Company and Cycle sport. We have to open up and not be afraid of anything especially challenging the norm.

This is the way to secure the future of our riders, and to fulfil our Olympic potential.

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