Swift is basing the sponsorship around it’s market leading ranges of Bessacarr, Ace and Swift of coachbuilt motorhomes, and has committed to a long term sponsorship package that will see the Global name change to Swift Racing from 1 January 2008.
The sponsorship will open a new route to young riders wanting to reach the top and hopefully be able to compete for a medal for Britain. The team behind the venture, Global Racing, has been established for three years and has already gained a good reputation in Europe since becoming the first ever British women’s professional team in 2006.
Under manager Stefan Wyman, 2007 has seen the women professional team undertake an impressive race programme including the Tour of Flanders, Tour de L’aude and Het Volk. 2008 will see the team use the UK National Series to help develop its youngest riders, whilst also giving them the opportunity to race against the world’s best in Europe.
In 2007, the team has worked alongside British Cycling with it’s under 23 academy riders where it has gained experience of working with riders balancing the cycling and studying demands of young riders. Swift Racing will provide another path for those talented riders who do not fit the profile of other programs available to riders from the UK.
“One of the major differences in this programme is that we will constantly be reviewing new talent and feeding riders into the team on a phased basis so that we can give as many people as possible the chance to make it to the top of the sport,” Manager Stefan Wyman commented.
“British Cycling is doing a great job to take its selected riders forward and provide them with opportunities to succeed. We intend to continue to allow other riders to have an alternative route in cycling.”
Swift Racing has resigned several leading riders for 2008 including Helen Wyman, Louise Moriarty and Debby van den Berg. Olympic rider Toni Bradshaw joins them along with Commonwealth Games Medallist Emma Davies Jones.
The most recent addition to the squad is Alice Monger-Godfrey, one of the most exiting talents of 2007. With a bronze medal in the national under 23 championships, she went on to win the National Road Race Series whilst still a junior.
Swift Racing will announce how young riders can apply to join the squad shortly, but Manager Wyman assured prospective candidates that anyone with real potential will be considered.
Swift Group Chairman, Peter Smith, explained why the company is making this major investment in British cycling. “Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the UK but probably one of the most under funded. British Cycling does a great job, but clearly focuses on the cream of British cyclists. Quite often the best stars take time to develop and the main aim of this sponsorship is to provide Swift Racing with enough support to enable Stefan and his organisation to spread the net a little wider and help more youngsters achieve the dream of riding for their country and hopefully go on to win a medal in the London games.”
The Swift Group also sponsor amateur time trial specialists, Team Swift, who are based in Yorkshire, and have won both the National 100 mile Championship and 12 Hour National Championship this year.
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
2008 Race Program (Selected Major Events)
16 March Het Volk (Belgium)
6 April Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
23 April Fleche Wallone (Belgium)
27 April Cheshire Classic (UK)
11 May Olverston Road Race (UK)
16 May Tour de L’aude (France)
7 June Omloop Humsterland
19 June Ster Eilanden
2 July GP Gerrie Knetemann
16 July Tour of Brittany
1 August World Cup Sweden TTT
3 August World Cup Sweden
10 August Holland Hills
24 August GP Plouay
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images