Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo moving forward in 2011
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo moving forward in 2011

by Ben Atkins at 3:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
New sponsors, bikes and clothing for ambitious British women’s team

horizon fitnessBelgian-based British team Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo is looking to grow further in 2011 with a number of quality signings and new sponsors. The team, which was created in 2010 by Stefan Wyman, the former director sportif of Swift Racing and Vision1 and husband of British cyclocross champion Helen Wyman, will be registered as a European team once more; it hopes to continue to provide a stable base for young riders as they develop towards becoming professional, while also looking to expand itself.

“We've got some fantastic people around us already like Prendas and CNP [Professional],” Wyman told Velonation, “and now it's a case of trying to find that extra cash to really push us forward in 2012.

“[It’s] still as per last season,” he explained, “but the plan is for pro team in 2012, and also looking at potential of a track pro team as well. We have such a good track squad, and a world class team pursuit team in Jo [Rowsell], Sarah [Storey] and Dani [King], so it's something we have to think about.”

As well as British based online cycle kit supplier Prendas Ciclosmo, through whom its new SMS Santini kit has been arranged, the team has also managed to secure deals with energy products producer CNP Professional (who also supplies products to the Sky ProTeam) and Dolan bikes.

Things may be looking up on the sponsor front, but not quite far enough for Wyman to take the next step to UCI registration.

“The reason we haven't gone pro is that there are a lot of teams spending all of their budget on the team registration [which is a minimum of €20,000 – Ed] and leaving very little to provide the right environment for the riders,” he explained. “We want to ensure that doesn't happen; if that means we become a springboard to bigger teams in the short term so be it.

“On that note,” he continued, “we'd be very interested in becoming an official feeder team to one of the larger pro teams. That is a structure that is missing in women's racing and something I'd be very keen to get involved in. To have the younger riders with us for a season or two, stagiere places with the pro team; but a sensible program, on a performance based program, not results.

“But finding the way into the bigger teams isn't easy, even with seven or eight years in the sport.”

Cyclocross specialists Helen Wyman and Gabby Day have left the team, although Wyman will remain in an advisory capacity for the younger riders and will likely guest with the team at some races; Day will be racing mountainbike fulltime for Scott UK.

Horizon Fitness team 2011:
Sarah Storey, Claire Thomas, Jessica Allen, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Hannah Rich, Annie Simpson, Ella Sadler-Andrews, Britt Jochems (Ned), Penny Rowson, Ruby Miller and Nancy Arreola (Mex).

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