British squad aims to move up to the sport's second tier for next season.

NFTO today unveiled a new partnership with investment company Aberdeen Asset Management as part of it plan to move to UCI ProContinental level for 2016.

The three-year agreement will initially see the FTSE company’s logos appear on the team’s black jersey from the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire [May 1-3], with the possibility of it becoming the squad’s title sponsor for next season. No financial details were disclosed; the company is the largest listed fund manager in European, managing £350bn.

“I think you can only go so far on your own,” said team owner John Wood. “We started as a small club team in Hereford, developing young local riders.

“I think it’s a big thing to say we’ve achieved going from club level to UCI Continental level. We’ve done things incrementally, and hopefully together with Aberdeen we can work together in order to progress even further.”

NFTO took the biggest win of its short life at last year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, when Adam Blythe won from a breakaway group.

“We’ve got a lot to live up to from last season, but we want to build on something that we can take to another level,” Wood added.

“We want to race more abroad. The only way to hold talent on a team is to give them a bigger race programme. Aberdeen’s offices are worldwide, so they may want us to go to places so as to raise their profile.”

ProContinental level status requires teams to meet the UCI’s ethical, financial and administrative criteria. Squads must consist of a minimum of 16 riders. The UCI requires new applications to ProConti level before August 1 this year.

  • Mark Jones

    I was skeptical at first, as we’ve seen this before, but John Wood has ambitions and he seems keen to see that link between Continental and World Tour teams that is currently preventing riders outside of the BC academy from progressing. Aberdeen Asset Management seem to be the type of British company with global links that would benefit greatly from cycling sponsorship. What’s more, their corporate colours lend themselves to a move away from the all-black cycling kit (here’s hoping!!).

  • Mark Jones

    Hopefully this will happen as we have seen it before, but perhaps the time is right now to see a British pro-continental team. Endura Racing had a good race programme, but only half the riders were British. Hopefully there is enough talent to see a few more Brits on this team as they progress.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Surely Aberdonians are too mean for this to be true. Sooner or later, every known fact turn”s out to be wrong after all.