By Nick Bull
NFTO this afternoon confirmed the signing of former UK Youth team manager Dave Povall as their lead directeur sportif for 2015.
Povall, who has six years' experience as a sports director, masterminded UK Youth's dominant Tour Series victory in 2013. They won nine of the 12 rounds, making them the most successful squad in a single season of the event.
This year, the Welshman managed the Metaltek-Kuota outfit, and replaces the outgoing Sean Yates in charge of John Wood's fledgling squad.
"The fact the John called me, and has the confidence in me to manage the NFTO Team through 2015 is both a compliment, and a challenge I’m happy to take up," said Povall.
NFTO's debut season as a UCI-ranked squad was defined by Adam Blythe's surprise victory in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. They were also selected to ride the Tour of Britain.
However, with Blythe heading back to the WorldTour to join Orica-GreenEdge, Wood admits that he has set Povall "some completely different goals around what I think will be achievable in 2015".
Most notably, Povall is hopeful of gaining invites to a handful of international events throughout next season.
"I'll endeavour to source the best programme possible," he said. "I expect to see the NFTO jersey race offshore more than it did in 2014.
"But we'll also pay respect to the domestic calendar. Phil West and Jonny Clay at British Cycling have the thankless task of ensuring there's a strong UK programme, and I think it's now improving year-on-year.
"Also, Mick Bennett and SweetSpot have continuously improved, which has opened up more events for the domestic teams.
"Mix these events in with the British UCI-ranked races in 2015, and the calendar looks busy already."
NFTO's roster is expected to be announced next week, with a number of new additions likely.
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