Bike Canyon: A Closer Look at the New UK Pro Team

The Team

The average age of the team is 24 years old with a mix of young and mature riders, as well as new and well-experienced racers, from teams such as Pedal Heaven, ONE Pro Cycling, NFTO Pro Cycling and Team Wiggins. Choosing a team isn’t as simple as picking a bunch of fast riders from available teams, it’s much more than that. Tim has painstakingly hand selected every rider for a particular reason; he’s chosen sprinters for races like the Tour Series, climbers and endurance riders for the long-distance races, and at least six under 23 year olds in case the team choose to enter an under 23 team.

Chris Opie is obviously the star player with his ONE Pro Cycling career culminating in Ronde van Midden Nederland glory back in August and coming second to Lotto NL Jumbo sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen, at the Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic, not to mention stage wins at Tour of Korea, top-ten finished in the Tour of Britain, two Tour Series wins, and nipping at the toes of podiums in the Tour of Yorkshire.

The rest of the team will undoubtedly help Opie realise more victories this year, thanks to a good mix of riders including junior champions, circuit race championship podium-takers, Commonwealth Games representatives, National and European title winners from the velodrome, national hill climbing champions, and some successful under-23 time trial riders.

The Kit

“I’m leading! I wanna start a rumour that I’m coming back!” says Yanto Barker, laughing, as the team saddle up for a ride to Box Hill. No, he’s not coming back, but he will be heavily involved with the team as the brain behind Le Col; the team’s clothing sponsor. I press for an idea of the team kit design; “that’s not my job”, says Yanto, as he discusses the importance of kit fitting. It’s clear Yanto has more passion for how well the kit will perform on the riders, rather than simply how it looks. A reflection of the brand itself. “the problem is, lads, I’m still a pro cyclist, I’m just retired!” he chuckles as he blasts off ahead. It’s not clear what the team kit will look like yet, other than Canyon and Bikesoup will featuring prominently on the kit, and that there may be some play with Bike Channel’s colours, but I can say for sure that the team won’t be moaning about Yanto’s pro-fitting clothing.

The team will head to Italy for a training camp this winter; a location not too warm that it will soften them up, but a tad nicer than the UK weather. Some riders will train together, but they’ll really get to know each other over the coming season, with around 94 races planned. The key races are the Tour Series, The Tour of Yorkshire, the UCI race at Velothon Wales, the An Post Rás (Ireland) and they aim to qualify for the Tour of Britain, but this is not a one-season team, expect to see these guys for a number of years, so get behind them now, as they’re going to be huge, and having Bike Channel and ourselves on board will give you a unique opportunity to see this team grow, as well as to peek behind the curtains at all the big 2017 races.

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December 01, 2016 by James Emery
Tags: news