Matrix Fitness team announces line up for 2014 with hints of a new main sponsor
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Matrix Fitness team announces line up for 2014 with hints of a new main sponsor

by Ben Atkins at 4:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Fifth year for British women’s team as it aims at “Women’s Tour”

matrix fitnessThe Matrix Fitness Race Academy has announced its initial rider roster for next season, as the British women’s team enters its fifth year, with what it calls “a clear focus on a place in The Women’s Tour in 2014.” The British team, run by Stef Wyman, the husband and coach of European Cyclocross champion Helen Wyman, retains many of its riders from the 2013 season, but is aiming higher as it takes on some full-time riders and looks to become a UCI team in 2015.

“We have put together a very strong line up of riders as we always aim to do,” said team manager Wyman. “We’ve been especially careful about how we have constructed the team this year.

“We know that a team that can perform in a UCI 2.1 race is very different to a team that can target wins in the many criteriums on the UK race calendar,” he explained. “If we are going to be one of the lucky few teams to get a wildcard invitation for The Women’s Tour we will need to demonstrate we are not there to make up the numbers.”

To achieve the step up that the team needs to be able to earn its spot in the Women’s Tour it has sought new sponsors. While Wyman is reluctant to name any new backers, he confirms that the team - whose parent company is known as “On the Drops” - will be taking a new name from next year.

“We’ve worked very hard with our new and existing sponsors to ensure the team expanded which has allowed us to create the opportunity for riders to step up, but also allowed us to add new riders that will give us the strength to challenge in major road races,” Wyman explained. “In the past few seasons the team took on a lot of new young riders and we’ve looked to retain the majority of them. Jessie Walker made a big step up in 2013 and we believe she is capable of very big things now. She demonstrated her quality in professional stage races in France last season, and with a year of being a full time athlete, we only see her getting stronger.”

Leaving the team are Hannah Walker, who has signed for Epic Scott, and Emma Grant who is to go to the United States, but has yet to confirm to which team. Also missing from the list is cyclocross rider Gabby Durrin, who rides for Rapha-Focus in the winter and spent most of this summer in the US as she married American rider Jeremy Durrin. Helen Wyman, who often rides for her husband’s team as a guest rider is also not listed.

The team is adding several new riders, however, with Penny Rowson returning after a year with the Breast Cancer Care team, Young Scottish rider Louise Borthwick from Edinburgh RC, and Bethany Hayward from Epic-Scott. The team will also add its first Paracyclist in the shape of blind rider Lora Turnham, who rode to the tandem time trial title with new Matrix Fitness teammate Corrine Hall at the World Paracycling Championships this year.

”Lora is a signing that makes me very happy and it’s going to be great to see what Corrine and Lora can do in 2014 to back up their World Championship ride,” said Wyman.

The team also adds a little international flavour to its otherwise British roster, with the inclusion of Dutchwoman Sigrid Jochems.

“Sigrid has huge experience and actually rode for my team a few years ago,” Wyman said. “I know exactly what I’m adding to the squad here and I couldn’t be happier. Sigrid is one of the fastest finishers I have ever seen in women’s cycling and has a natural ability to position herself in the peloton. Our team can all learn from Sigrid during 2014 and over this coming winter. With The Women’s Tour being based in the East of England, we know Sigrid could be a key signing for us.”

Matrix Fitness Race Academy* line up for 2014 (* new team name to be confirmed)
Louise Borthwick, Corrine Hall, Bethany Hayward, Sigrid Jochems, Mel Lowther, Harriet Owen, Penny Rowson, Jo Tindley, Lora Turnham, Jessie Walker


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