Metaltek-Knights of Old may have been the surprise package of this year's Pearl Izumi Tour Series, but team owner Andy Swain says he expected his squad to compete with the big name outfits.
Having taken their first ever round victory of the series in Redditch, Swain's team comfortably finished sixth overall, 15 points ahead of nearest rivals MG-Maxifuel and two places ahead of UCI continental team IG-Sigma Sport.
"Finishing where we did is no surprise to us, it's just nice that everybody else is waking up to what we're doing," he said.
"Morale is sky high in the team - we've got a very young, but committed team who bounce off each other. I think that's why we've gained strength round by round, whereas by the end of last year's series [they finished eighth overall] we didn't really want to be here anymore!
"Admittedly we didn't expect to win a round, but we'll take it!"
Metaltek-Knights of Old riders on the front of the peloton in Redditch
Swain is the owner of the team's title sponsor Metaltek Engineering Solutions, and combines his time running the squad, however he has no plans to settle with how the team are faring.
"I'm not sure what I was running on after combining the day job with 12 rounds of the series, but I enjoyed every minute," he joked.
"We've got a very committed partner in [container shipping company] Knights of Old, and our results this year, combined with a series of behind-the-scenes videos online [external link (opens in new tab)], means that we're getting a lot more interest in the team.
"Already in 2013 we've beaten teams with a much bigger budget than ours, and fighting it out with the top teams is where we want to be on a regular basis.
"If we continue to progress like we have done, I don't see why we wouldn't be able to end the year well in the Premier Calendar rounds, and then strengthen to do even better in 2014."
Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2013: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.
8 common issues faced by smaller adult cyclists – and a bike fitter’s advice on how to overcome them
From frame size to stance width, crank length to brake levers – stock setups are stacked against smaller cyclists, but there are ways to get a better fit
By Nicole Oh • Published
Wahoo Christmas Sales discounts on Kickr V5 smart trainer, Kickr Bike 1.0 and V1 Elemnt Roam bike computer
Wahoo have continued to reduce prices on some of its best known products, offering big savings during the Christmas period
By Paul Norman • Published