Team UK Youth looking to 2012 as they add more riders to their lineup

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Having registered as a UCI Continental team for next season, Team UK Youth will be looking to take on a larger programme of racing both within the UK and abroad.

Many of last year's riders will continue for next year, following the team's ethos of developing talent under the guidance of former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt.

New additions include Yanto Barker, Chris Opie, Richard Tanguy and the Swede Christofer Stevenson, the latter having had considerable experience and success on the continent.

"We've got some handy new additions to the team and have added some experience with Yanto Barker's inclusion," explained Backstedt.

"We'll be taking on good races in Europe and further afield. This is so we can be as competitive as possible in Premier Calendar events and the Tour Series in the UK."

The team will be sponsored by Nigel Mansell OBE and led by Backstedt. They will hope to be able to use the increased number of races to highlight the goals of the charity whose name they take.

"I'm absolutely delighted with how 2011 went for the team and am really excited that we can build upon our first year experiences on a larger scale," said fomer F1 World Champion Mansell, who is also the President of UK Youth.

Team UK Youth's 2011 line-up

Surrey bike makers WyndyMilla will be kitting out the team with custom rides in the charity's colours of white with the Union flag.

Founded in 1911, UK Youth is a youth work charity supporting over 750,000 young people across the country to help them raise their aspirations and have their achievements recognised via non-formal, accredited education programmes.

Team UK Youth 2012 lineup

Magnus Backstedt

Yanto Barker*

Niklas Gustavsson

Chris Opie*

Freddy Johansson

James Stewart

David McGowan

Richard Tanguy*

Greg Mansell

Gruff Lewis

James Lowsley-Williams

Christofer Stevenson*

* Indicates new rider for 2012.

After a successful second year, the Wiggle Super Series will be adding two new winter events to the calendar to keep riders going through the colder months.

The ‘Purbeck Hill-a-Saurus' MTB ride will, rather appropriately, take place along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and make the most of the rugged coastline.

The ‘Wight Winter' sportive will see riders start and finish in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, riding a 62 or 43 mile loop around the western side of the island with ferry travel arranged.

Indoor feed stations will feature on both rides, and Martin Barden of UK Cycling Events the organiser of the Wiggle Super Series said: "We believe these new events have the right mix of route lengths, warm feed station and locations to ensure riders have an enjoyable experience."

To find out more, click here (external link).

Saturday October 15 saw 60 young riders from the Palmer Park Velo club cycle a collective 3210km in three hours to raise money to support the building of a new orphanage for the Zoë Trust, a UK-based charity that aims to improve the lives of some of the poorest children in South Africa.

The target for the ride was 1800km - 50km for each orphan - but with riders rocketing round the 459m Palmer's Park Velodrome in Reading, the final total nearly doubled the original goal. Finn Hawkins, aged just six years, set an impressive distance of over 40km.

The ride wasn't without its crashes, but organizer Emily Hogge was incredibly grateful for the children's efforts.

"You've all done fantastically well. And with each pedal stroke, you've been helping to change the lives of children in South Africa," she told the riders.

A former Palmer Park Velo member herself, Miss Hogge travelled to South Africa during her gap year where she lived and worked at the orphanage, returning with the idea to fundraise. 

Palmer Park Velo is hoping to raise £3000 in total, and donations can be made via their Just Giving webpage (external link).

Cycling Ireland have secured the coaching resources of British Cycling through the signing of an agreement which will initially run until 2013.

The sharing of resources further strengthens links between the two organizations according to John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director at British Cycling.

"It is a great opportunity for both organisations to develop a greater understanding of coach education... it gives me great pleasure to be in a position to offer our expertise to Ireland in order to support their new and exciting coach education programme.

"This is an exciting time for Cycling Ireland," Rachel Ormrod of Cycling Ireland added.

"This represents a great opportunity for our existing coaches to further develop their own coaching knowledge and embed a culture of coaching throughout Ireland."

>>>We want to hear what's happening in your area. To submit your stories for CW's British news round-up, please email Nick Bull or Richard Abraham>>>

>>To catch up on previous weeks' round-ups see the British news round-up index page>>>

Related links

British News round-up: 2011 index page


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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.