Since 2019, Ribble has proudly supported the development of young riders through its sponsorship of the HUUB Ribble Race Team. In 2022 the team has undergone a major facelift with a new title sponsor, new equipment and a new name – Ribble rechrg Race Team. Read on to find out how they aim to transform the lives of young and ambitious cyclists.
Ribble has a rich and varied history within the UK racing scene. A history of supporting the finest talents that extends back as far as the mid-20th century. Despite already being heavily invested in the Ribble Weldtite and Le Col-Wahoo Pro Cycling Teams we also wanted to look to the future.
So in 2019, we partnered with HUUB to create the HUUB Ribble Race Team. In 2022 they will race as Ribble rechrg. We asked the team to describe what it is that they do.
Ribble rechrg is a name that will be unfamiliar to most, what is it that you do?
The Ribble rechrg Race Team was set up as a UK Development Team for Junior and U23 riders. We began in 2019 as HUUB Ribble Race Team and were affiliated with the Derby College Cycling Academy. The pandemic was disruptive to the goals and aspirations of the team but it was redesigned for 2022 with rechrg.net as a new headline supporter.
As a company, rechrg.net is committed to enabling individuals and businesses across the UK to access emerging technologies. Empowering a more sustainable future – which we believe has synergies with cycling. Ribble has committed its support to us again for the 2022 team.
So, what’s the overall aim of the team?
Some Grand tour teams have invested in development teams. We are not connected to a professional team – yet. The primary aim of the team is to prepare riders for the transition in training when the body develops from adolescence into adulthood. Hopefully, offering a softer stepping stone to Continental and Grand Tour teams.
In higher-level football, there is always an academy for spotting and supporting up and coming talent. We are trying to be that for young cyclists. Our aim is to address the ‘danger zone’ in cycling. The point where successful riders emerge from the youth ranks and due to a slower rate of mental and/or physical development, they fail to make a successful transition to Junior or U23 racing.
We have identified that those who are less developed when entering the Junior ranks take longer to realise the same results. Especially when pitted against more developed Junior and U23 riders. A significant number of strong, successful youth riders never make the step up to the next level. This is a shame, not only for the rider but also for the sport.
The rider who has come up through the youth racing scene has developed tremendous skill levels which can be difficult to acquire if joining the sport later on. We all know the dangers of riding the peloton, so a skilful rider is always a welcome addition. The aim is to identify talented youth riders, (who are perhaps late developers).
To encourage them, build confidence, instil independence and develop the required training load and coaching expectations needed to be competitive in U23 male racing. The team provides an extra 2-4 years of support in the hope that talented riders, given the time and support, can make a successful transition to Continental and even Grand Tour levels.
In addition, this year, we have specifically targeted the development of a rider’s social media skills. In modern racing, the aim isn’t solely to win the race but to win the support of the crowd, and this is done via social media. Becoming a better athlete is complex and interesting.
We have selected a number of key supporters to help the riders on their way to becoming professional cyclists. We want to document this for followers of cycling and fans alike:
Veloforte – Nutrition
YOP – Performance Strength and Conditioning
The Bike Inn – Technical bike competence
Pilote Productions – Video producers to assist with quality content
Marginal Gains – To assist with Social Media management
Derby College – For continuing education for cyclists
HUUB – Performance Clothing
Wattshop – Performance Equipment
Cyclone – Cleaning and Maintenance
Information about our Cycling Academy (formerly HUUB Ribble) can be seen here:
What have you got lined up for 2022?
Riders coming out of youth and Junior ranks need to acquire points to obtain their Cat 1 and 2 licenses. Riders committed to acquiring their Cat 2 licenses will be mainly focused on National B Road and Crit Races.
For the Cat 1 and possibly Cat 2 riders there will be attempts at getting into the National Road Race series and Track Nationals.
Under-23 Men’s National Road Series Dates:
- Round 1: Yorkshire Under-23 Classic, Sunday 17 April
- Round 2: Future Tour of Wales, Friday 8 – Sunday 10 July
- Round 3: Worcester Classic, Sunday 31 July
- Round 4: Stars of the South West RR, Sunday 28 August
- Round 5: Central U23 Classic, Sunday 25 September
2022 Men’s National Road Series
- Round 1: Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, Lincoln – Sunday 8 May
- Round 2: Stockton Cycling Festival Grand Prix, Stockton – Sunday 3 July
- Round 3: Lancaster Grand Prix, Lancaster – Sunday 17 July
- Round 4: Manx International Stage Race, Isle of Man – Friday 22 – Sunday 24 July
- Round 5: The Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix, Ampleforth – Sunday 21 August
- Round 6: Beaumont Trophy, Stamfordham – Sunday 18 September
2022 Men’s National Circuit Series
- Round 1: Property Development Men’s Otley Grand Prix – 29 June
- Round 2: Ilkley Cycle Races – 1st July
- Round 3: Barnsley Town Centre Races – 15th July
- Round 4: Sheffield Grand Prix – 20th July
- Round 5: Fort Vale Colne Grand Prix – 26th July
- Round 6: Newark Town Centre Races – 29th July
2022 British National Championships
- British National Road Championships, Dumfries and Galloway, 23-26 June
As the team evolves, we are aware that the opportunity to race in Europe is a big attraction for riders. So, we will be hoping to reach the potential for that in future years.
Are there any standout races that you look forward to with interest?
Races with particular interest are Otley, the Beaumont Trophy & National Champs.
You have a distinctive new look for 2022, what inspired the livery?
The livery was chosen and designed collaboratively by the riders and HUUB. They wanted a white kit to stand out from the usual colour combos. It was also a safety issue for young riders training on the roads and being easily seen. Apparently, it looks quite Euro too!
You have new bikes too, tell us about them?
The riders have been issued with Ribble Endurance SL Disc bikes with a team edition CustomColour design. This spec was an added bonus but makes all the difference when presenting the riders as a team. This is the first transition the team has made to disc brakes, so there have been a few changes required e.g. mechanical tools and a new roof rack. The sense of pride coming from the team now the kit, bike, and car have been customised is amazing. The quality of the bike is superb and the riders will be giving their reviews over the coming months once they connect with the bike in racing scenarios.
How did you find your way to the UK cycle racing scene?
We are a team of volunteers and riders who have participated in a number of small teams over the years. All the teams have been part of the British Cycling racing scene at one point or another since 2012. We have in the past organised National British Cycling track and circuit races so we are not really new to the scene.
What led you to set up the team?
We have been running youth and junior cycling teams and have been active with British Cycling Regional Team Management for years but the U23 scene is completely different and there is a lot to learn and manage. It helps that there is a background in cycling already and many connections, both with British Cycling and Scottish Cycling to draw from. We come from a region with a great cycling pedigree and have seen riders progress to win Olympic medals and ride for Grand Tour teams. We want to inspire that possibility in all riders who have the dream to go further.
This represents a bit of a change for Ribble Weldtite rider Jacob Tipper, what’s his role within the team?
Jacob Tipper has been the performance coach for the team and academy riders since 2019 (when it was HUUB Ribble Race Team). He schedules the coaching for the riders remotely via Training Peaks and he attends team camps (approx. 4 per season). Jacob’s contribution has been outstanding and the riders have much to learn from him, both from a rider’s perspective and the performance elements he brings to the table. We are looking to pick his brains for a more efficient running of the team as things progress.
Speaking of Jacob Tipper, here’s his take on swapping the road for gravel as he, Will Brown and Rich Jones tackled Dirty Reiver.
After a superb start to the season, we caught up with Ribble Weldtite’s very own Flying Scotsman Finn Crockett to discover more about one of 2022’s newest recruits.