AW Cycles are pleased to launch the awcycles.co.uk racing team for the 2006 season. The shop based in Reading Berkshire is building on the original team created last year and now with the structure and sponsors established are looking to develop the team further in the coming season.
Following on from the original concept of employing local riders to race in an organised team structure, competing in all areas of cycling the team will once again have riders competing on the road, track, triathlon, cross country MTB and down hill MTB.
All of the teams will be supported by Giant Bikes and awcycles.co.uk will supply all the fully supported athletes with a bike for the season.
After a successful first season which included claiming 4 divisional track titles, they have bolstered the team with several accomplished local road racers. There will be 2 teams on the road for 06, the A team will consist of 6 fully supported riders who will compete in local events as a team and also look to the national circuit race series and the Premier calendar to gain experience.
Road Team – A
The Road team will be riding Giant TCR comp 0 bikes for the season.
Joe Bayfield is the team leader – throughout the mid to late 90s Joe was one of the most prolific winners on the UK scene riding professionally for the Harrods team. After a serious motorcycle accident 6 years ago Joe retired from cycling and now owns a tree surgery business. Tempted back on his bike last June Joe had wins on the road and the track within 2 months of throwing his leg over a road bike again. This winter, with renewed enthusiasm, Joe is training hard and is keen to assist the team with his experience and ability especially in the circuit race series. Still only 33 Joe is likely to be a threat in any race he competes in.
Rob English, well known for his all round ability on the bike which includes the national record for 200m flying start on a pedal powered vehicle, Rob will be racing all events from road to endurance mountain bike events. On the road, the premier calendar will be his focus and with the great endurance he is building up this winter, training full time in New Zealand, combined with his climbing ability (4th in the national hill climb) Rob will always be in the mix at the end of a long hard race.
Matt Melville is known to most people who race around the south east. An experienced rider, having spent two seasons in Italy, Matt’s speciality are the long hilly races. He is also very accomplished at the shorter stage races, with one of his best results being 4th place in the Surrey League five day stage race in 2004 and winning the King of the mountains competition in the same race. Looking to support Rob in the Premier calendar and make up for an injury ruined season last year, Matt is extremely motivated for the races to come.
Tom Smith specialises in the shorter criterium races. His bike handling skills and fast sprint make the National Criterium series an obvious target. After 8th place in the competition in 2004, Tom last year worked hard in the series in support of his team leader, sacrificing his own results to do so. This year as nominated leader in all criterium races, he will have full support from the team and we look forward to seeing him on the podium again.
Vince Halpern, know to most cyclists in the London area, has just finished in second place in the Hillingdon winter series including wins in two rounds. He may well have taken the series lead overall if he had not been forced to sit out two races. Vince is a threat in all bunch sprints – if he is in the pack at the end of the race he is always capable of winning! He will work for Tom in the National Criterium series.
Alex Peterson is a classy road and track rider who won the divisional 20km on the track last year as well as many impressive results in local races. Racing with the team this year will help Alex to progress further and let his natural ability come to the fore.
Road Team – B
To back up the A team awcycles.co.uk will be running a support team made up of young promising local riders.
Ben Wilson is the B team captain and brings great experience to the young riders in the team. He raced as a full time rider all over Europe competing for Great Britain abroad and also in the mid 90s won many prestigious road titles in this country. After a long lay off Ben still only 33 will be a major strategic player in races and will soon become a force to be reckoned with on the roads. A former professional with a 4th cat licence: you have been warned!
Tim Bedingfield is a former international rower who rowed at 5 world championships and switched to cycling in 2002. After suffering from ulcerative colitis (a disease that affects the large intestine) Tim was forced to have his entire large intestine removed in 2004. Returning to cycling last year, Tim was surprised to find that he could compete in races and quickly improved throughout the season taking 123 points and placing in most races he competed in. Still with lots to learn Tim will be competing in the longer local races and on the track and also hopes to race in some Premier calendar races.
Darren Parker is a local rider who in his first season last year showed great promise and will benefit greatly from a good team structure and a lot more racing.
Dani Fortunov impressed all in his first year of racing last year with his strength in all types of race. With the help of riders like Ben, Dani will have lots of scope to turn his natural ability into results.
Sam Serruya still only sixteen years old and a huge talent on the track who we a proud to support and help develop. Now on British Cycling’s Talent Team Sam will compete through the year in the national track series and also look to develop his circuit racing skills.
Neil Cooper is a former U16 national sprint champion, currently finishing off his degree at University. Neil is taking a back seat in the early season but will play a significant role in the team’s racing after his finals.
With full backing from Giant bikes awcycles.co.uk are also grateful for the support of Yellow ltd who are providing Rudy project Helmets and glasses. Jim Walker is providing Fulcrum wheels and North wave shoes and also support from Continental Tyres. The team also welcomes the help from RSI with their brilliant help supplying Nalini Clothing.
Dennis Sackett, who many will know as the photographer who attends local races, is kindly supporting the team with his Photos which can also be found at www.cyclingphotos.org.uk Jason Smith of Bodysmith is once again providing invaluable help with massage and personal training for the team and this year will be travelling to important races with the team.