Britain's new UCI-ranked squad - backed by the England and Sussex wicketkeeper - hits the headlines

With appearances on Sky Sports News and BBC Radio 5 Live, as well as coverage in The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph, the involvement of England and Sussex cricketer Matt Prior helped ONE Pro Cycling create a stir upon their launch today.

“It’s been carnage,” joked Prior when asked about how his morning had been. “But that’s exactly what we wanted!”

Prior has invested money into the team, which will sit alongside the likes of Madison-Genesis and NFTO in the UCI Continental level. Such extensive coverage of third division teams is rare – Nigel Mansell’s involvement in UK Youth garnered interest, but arguably not as big as this – showing the impact the wicket-keeper’s involvement has had.

“I’m a big believer that we get one chance to make a first impression – I’ve always tried to bare a certain standard and operate at a certain level, be it in training, preparation or in competition,” he said.

“If I’m going to put my name to anything, I want it to meet standards. That’s why it’s taken longer to make the announcement, but we wanted it to be right.

“Hopefully that will infiltrate through to the riders, as ultimately we’re here to win bike races and perform well.”

Prior added that the team, whose roster includes the likes of Yanto Barker and Chris Opie, already has funding in line for a handful of years and promised “exciting” announcements at the team’s official launch in February.

* See next Thursday’s Cycling Weekly (December 18 issue) for more on ONE Pro Cycling.