Just a quick (!) post to let you all know of a move that has recently been finalised:
After a fantastic time last year riding for Rapha Condor CC I have moved across to race this season in Cyclefit RT colours.
There are a few reasons for this move:
First amongst these is that Rapha Condor CC was originally set-up as a supporter’s club and alternative revenue stream for the Rapha Condor Sharp pro team. Because of this they are of course in no financial or moral position to fund fledgling riders. I’m extremely grateful to Simon, Laura, Mike and the Rapha crew therefore for everything they did do for me last year- which they really had utterly no obligation to do. They did it just because they’re really lovely people and wanted to help out- and I’m immensely grateful for that.
Secondly- a place on the pro squad really wasn’t feasible financially, either. Whilst I’m sure Rapha would have no problem in theory offering me a place, there are two other headline sponsors- Condor and Sharp. At the end of the day, cycling is a business and these businesses naturally expect a media coverage return on their investment. With Paracycling not really receiving much media attention in comparison to able-bodied racing, I can’t really justify dipping into the team’s already-stretched budget in return for the minimal coverage they may get in return.
The fact remains however that I’m a struggling student with no real income to stretch to the nationwide racing I intend to do this year.
I’ve been working more and more with Phil and Jules at www.cyclefit.co.uk in London’s Covent Garden. As Europe’s most highly-qualified bike-fitters (they teach other bike fitters how to be better bike-fitters, that’s how good they are) I’ve been relying on their expertise and professionalism to negotiate all the intriguing biomechanical pitfalls, problems and questions that my slightly unusual physiology poses. When they offered to extend their support of me, therefore, and make me the sole Cyclefit RT rider for this season; naturally I jumped at the chance.
Phil and I then spoke to Simon, the CEO of Rapha, to raise the possibility of such a move. It’s an indication of the genuine professionalism, modesty and kindness of the man that he was extremely enthusiastic about the move. I think we all recognised that if I want to continue to progress in the sport I need more specialist help from experts- something which Rapha weren’t able to offer at the time. He was therefore really supportive of it, for which I am very grateful.
Cyclefit and their partners (www.balancephysio.com chief amongst them) are a brilliant fit (geddit?) for me as a sponsor, and I’d like to think that I’m a good match for them as a rider. We all love bikes and trying to get the most out of them. I benefit from their extensive know-how and techno-gadgetry, and they benefit from the warm glow of satisfaction in helping out a young lad with aspirations of future Golds. It’s also really strong PR for them to be able to say; “Look.. here’s a kid who has certain biomechanical issues. We’ve broken new ground here and developed ways around those problems so that he can ride faster, further, more comfortably. So imagine what we can do for you, man in the street with a probably more regular physiology?”
I think that’s most of what I wanted to say on the matter.
I’m sure by now you’re sick of me saying it, but I’d just like thank once more Phil, Jules, (www.cyclefit.co.uk) Simon, Laura, Mike, (www.rapha.cc and www.raphacondor.cc) Jonathan, Fran and Mick (www.balancephysio.com).
First race is tomorrow. Wicked.
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