British Cycling and Sky unveiled the new Sky+HD Trade Team kit on Wednesday October 29 at Manchester velodrome.
Team members Jamie Staff, Victoria Pendleton, Shanaze Reade, Ross Edgar and Jason Kenny were on hand to model the new attire. Unfortunately the sixth member of the team, Chris Hoy, was not able to appear due to other commitments.
The Adidas manufactured skinsuits are a black base colour with bright electric blue light trail details that feature on the chest, arms and legs.The trials down the arm and leg give the impression of you looking in on the muscle fibres at work. The Sky+HD wording appears on chest, legs and arms with the added wording “Sky+HD Proud Sponsors of British Cycling” on the upper arm.
The press launch coincided with the build up to the weekend’s UCI World Cup Track event at the venue and four of the riders present, Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar and Victoria Pendleton will all be competing in the new look kit for the first time.
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Sprinter Jamie Staff was on hand to give a response to the Sky sponsorship. “Having Sky+HD on board is fantastic. Traditionally a lot of the endurance team might ride for a trade team so they have extra money or a salary outside of the track. But the sprinters generally don’t, so it means now we get paid a salary.
“With the elite UK Sports funding I get, the Sky money is a bonus and it makes a living.” Staff was asked about the new kit and responded: “It’s a really cool kit. They have tried to make it look a bit different – unique and they have. It looks good in pictures too.”
Shanaze Reade, BMX world champion and world team sprint champion partner to Victoria Pendleton on the track, was asked about her programme. “Everything now for me is geared to win in London 2012. The hurt of what happened in Beijing is still there. It’s getting better, but still every morning it’s the first thing on your mind. It’s difficult to get rid of the emotional pain I went through.”
Finally we caught up with Victoria Pendleton who talked about what the Sky partnership meant to her. “Sky being as big as it is and the kind of people who are aware of the brand, which is pretty much everybody who watches any kind of sport on TV, will hopefully get a bit of the track cycling bug.
“Financially, track cycling is a minority sport. It’s not big business and there’s not a lot of money in it, so having the opportunity to have athletes sponsored throughout the programme from grass roots to the elite level can only be a positive thing. We should be able to provide the best facilities and personnel to make them the best they can be and produce world class riders.”
Questions then focused towards the weekends events in the World Cup, “It’s always really enjoyable to compete in a World Cup,” responded Pendleton and continued, “But being the first of the season it’s, in some respects, a bit of a nightmare for me. Just because I’ve not had time to go back and do the base training, the kind of training I’ve done over the last three years that kind of guarantees me a certain level of form.
“Not having that now is a little bit scary. It’s been a contingency training plan rather than what I’d ideally like to have done going in to a major competition. With the gap between the Games and the World Cup it’s not enough time to put in the heavy strength training and base miles, because I’d have no speed right now.
“You have to take a big step back to move forward in a sprint event. Not had time and that will happen after the World Cup – when I’m back in to the winter training.” Pendleton then told us her plans for the rest of the track season, “I’m doing this first World Cup and the last like Chris Hoy, so I’m in the right form for the World Championships next year.”
Sky made their announcement of becoming the principal partner with British Cycling back in July of this year. The announcement of the Sky+HD Trade Team is part of the top end of the sponsorship deal which encompasses all forms of cycle sport from grass-roots up to elite level. The elite trade team can be seen as the pinnacle of achievement and something to aspire and work to.
MANCHESTER TRACK WORLD CUP 2008 LINKS
Sky+HD track team officially unveiled
Clancy for individual pursuit at Manchester World Cup
Chris Hoy scholarship programme launched
Kenny ready for race action in Manchester
British Cycling celebrate success at gala dinner
Manchester World Cup preview: Who’s riding for Britain ? and in which event?
CW’s Dummies’ Guide to track racing ? We explain how track racing works
Every major track result of the 2007-2008 season World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games
Manchester Track World Cup official site for full details of the race programme