Swift Racing Team launch.
Words & pics – Joolze Dymond
The annual Caravan and Boat show was given another dose of glamour when the girls from Team Swift Racing took the decision to formally launch their 2008 team line up at the event.
Featuring 17 strong women rider, the established UCI registered pro women’s team, the first in the UK, now wholly based in Belgium, looks forward to another significant season, with Swift Motor Homes, committing to a long term sponsorship package.
This major new partnership will fund a significant new initiative to find and train top riders from the UK in the build up to the 2012 Olympic games in London.
Riders already signed to ride for Swift Racing include:
Emma Davies Jones UK
Alice Monger-Godfrey UK
Gabby Day UK
Helen Wyman UK
Louise Moriarty Ireland
Jenny Fay Ireland
Toni Bradshaw New Zealand
Marina Duvnjak New Zealand
Ine Beyen Belgium
Lien Beyen Belgium
Debby van den Berg Holland
Sigrid Jochems Holland
Sarah Reynolds UK Junior
Stefan Wyman, the team manager told Bike Radar:
“It’s a good day and a fantastic venue very different from the norm, it’s a popular show, they expect a 150,000people through the doors and those people can directly see our motor home, our new bikes and of course the team. It’s a bit of excitement for the girls they get to play with all the fantastic motor homes and yachts that are here so it’s been good fun.
The team is ever growing and although it looks very big from the outside, we’ve got some people within the team that have some very specific targets. So amongst all our riders we have lots of different targets lots of different levels and abilities and we should be able to fit everybody in very comfortably
We are of course very focused on the British side of the team, that’s one of the major commitment I’ve given to our sponsor is that we will build up the British element for 2012 and we will look to try to focus our efforts on finding new talents and develop it for the London Olympics. So we have got a big commitment to those young British riders and we are actively looking for more. We are getting CV’s in now from other riders and there won’t be any British riders that we won’t be able to help in some way. Hopefully those CV’s will keep coming in and we can show that we are a good alternative for people who don’t quite make the British Cycling programme or if that programme doesn’t quite fit their goals and ambitions either. I certainly don’t see us as being any kind of second rate team to what BC are trying to do we are trying to work in harmony with them and alongside them but we have of course different goals, targets and different ways of getting there.
As far as ambitions go for our short-term future, this season, it will be our first year as Swift Racing. One of our main focuses will be getting the girls to gel as a team making sure that they’ve all met all of their personal goals and we will help them in everyway we can achieve that and try and ensure that we can put together the necessary pathways for them to move forward. In terms of results, everyone as I said will have their own individual target I hope that we can move into the top 20 in the world team ranking this year, which would be excellent progress for us. I hope we can challenge strongly in some of the tours, win some jerseys. We don’t always go to the races and go out for the win sometimes we’re going out for our own targets which might be winning a young persons jersey or king of the mountain jersey or sprinters jersey and the team work that is involved in those goals, is the sort of team work that can win a race, they learn to do it that way, it will move on and the team will only get better”.
While Swift motor Homes representative was delighted that their company was backing a successful and of course glamorous team:
“It’s good to see the company now backing British sport, to trying to get the cycling team promoted and supported in a way that allows them to perform well in their competitions.
It’s great to be behind women’s racing in particular, it’s getting behind the right people and giving the opportunity to perform well and I think that’s something that has been lacking previously.
It’s be great to have the team launch here to see our side of the business and allow our customers to realise our commitment to UK sport and we feel we have chosen a great team to represent us in other aspects of the business world. It is I feel a great partnership, which should see both parties gain credibility and something because of it.”