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Pro Focus
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Ribble Pro Cycling

Pro Focus
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Ribble Pro Cycling

Based in Lancashire, Ribble Pro Cycling are a team that have gone from strength to strength. Now testing their legs at UCI Continental level, we talked to the team to find out more about their training, racing on Zwift, and their approach to taking on the Tour de Yorkshire.

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Pro Ribble Cycling's story is unusual, but quite traditional. Really it developed year on year. Starting out as a small, local club, developing incrementally each year. The whole idea is to build a sustainable platform before taking the next step forward.

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Going from a grassroots club to a UCI Continental team doesn't mean as much change as you might think. There are more staff now who generally look at every opportunity to develop processes and make those slight improvements.

The race program has probably changed the most. Being eligible for Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain, the UK domestic races take on more emphasis and focus, so to prepare for these races requires more planning and precision.

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_

In previous years the team were able to pick and choose the races and events that it was best suited to. Now each Tour of Britain qualification round is a 100% priority for the team.

Even as a non-UCI team, the calendar had 15-20 UCI days, but that number has grown now and the objective of those days is to fill gaps in the UK program and to prepare for the UK races.
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In terms of standout moments for the team, there are two that really come to mind. Dan Bigham's first national title on the track in the IP as a complete underdog was incredible. Also Charlie taking the team's first UCI jersey in Qatar marked a huge achievement.

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As the team's grown, the admin and workload has been shared across a bigger network of people, which has helped riders focus completely on what really counts to racing teams; riding bikes.

_

_

Over the off season, the team took part in the Zwift Kiss Super League. Training conventions are constantly shifting and nowadays you need to be at 90% all year round.

Ed Hopper won one race, and ended up flying to New York to compete. It's surreal, but that's Zwift; it’s one of the most innovative emerging brands in the world.

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 For Ribble as a team, the Zwift League and eRacing are exciting. It acted as a valuable training tool through the off-season.

One of the things that have been overlooked is the practice and reflection it can give. Planning and executing, reflecting on the how the race went, what you could do better, selecting riders for specific courses and scenarios that you want to play out - it was all invaluable ahead of the start of the road season.

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Based in Lancashire, Ribble Pro Cycling are a team that have gone from strength to strength. Now testing their legs at UCI Continental level, we talked to the team to find out more about their training, racing on Zwift, and their approach to taking on the Tour de Yorkshire.

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

_

_


Ribble Pro Cycling's story is unusual. It developed year on year. Starting out as a small, local club, developing incrementally each year. The whole idea is to build a sustainable platform before taking the next step forward.

_

_


Going from a grassroots club to a UCI Continental team doesn't mean as much change as you might think. There are more staff now who generally look at every opportunity to develop processes and make those slight improvements.

The race program has probably changed the most. Being eligible for Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain, the UK domestic races take on more emphasis and focus, so to prepare for these races requires more planning and precision.

_

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

_

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

_

_

In previous years the team were able to pick and choose the races and events that it was best suited to. Now each Tour of Britain qualification round is a 100% priority for the team.

Even as a non-UCI team, the calendar had 15-20 UCI days, but that number has grown now and the objective of those days is to fill gaps in the UK program and to prepare for the UK races.
_

_


In terms of standout moments for the team, there are two that really come to mind. Dan Bigham's first national title on the track in the IP as a complete underdog was incredible. Also Charlie taking the team's first UCI jersey in Qatar marked a huge achievement.

_

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

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James Fouché - NZL - 20

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"Having won the New Zealand national championships, I am really excited and roaring to get racing to show my new jersey off. It's always been a dream of mine wear the Silver Fern, so for it to become a reality is beyond words."

_

_


As the team's grown, the admin and workload has been shared across a bigger network of people, which has helped riders focus completely on what really counts to racing teams; riding bikes.

_

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

_

_

Over the off season, the team took part in the Zwift Kiss Super League. Training conventions are constantly shifting and nowadays you need to be at 90% all year round.

Ed Hopper won one race, and ended up flying to New York to compete. It's surreal, but that's Zwift; it’s one of the most innovative emerging brands in the world.

_

 

As a Continental team based up in the North, this week's Tour de Yorkshire is huge, but the team has no intention of going along to make up the numbers.

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With the world Champs being in Yorkshire too this year, the race is going to attract some of the biggest names in cycling. The guys aren't anxious though. Britain is a difficult place to race - grippy roads, steep climbs, changeable weather. Ribble Pro Cycling are suited to and prepared for it.

_

_


"Coming from the Southern Hemisphere into a Northern Hemisphere race calendar, I think the only real challenge is not doing too many races throughout December and January when it's peak racing season in NZ. If you manage that well then I think there are only benefits from living down here throughout the European winter. It makes it easy going out for training in sunny warm weather, especially since this is the time for base training with lots of kilometres."

_

_

As a Continental team based up in the North, this week's Tour de Yorkshire is huge, but the team has no intention of going along to make up the numbers.

_

_


With the world Champs being in Yorkshire too this year, the race is going to attract some of the biggest names in cycling. The guys aren't anxious though. Britain is a difficult place to race - grippy roads, steep climbs, changeable weather. Ribble Pro Cycling are suited to and prepared for it.

_

_

In terms of riders to watch out for, it's hard to whittle down. Team selection was tough as there are a number of winning combinations.

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Although the team's main sponsor and lots of the riders are from Lancashire, it's more of a northern team, so the rivalry with Yorkshire isn't such a huge dynamic. All the riders are northern now or have been based in the north for a while, but obviously being backed by two dynamic Lancashire companies (Ribble Cycles and Intack Self Drive) there's a sway towards Lancashire!

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Ribble Pro Cycling started racing in Le Col kit this year. The race suits are a perfect garment for the team's needs and have made the jersey and shorts pretty much obsolete for racing now. All the riders really like the Aqua Zero Gilet too, especially in the early season.

_

_


Other than a good sprint and a shed-load of watts, to be a Pro Ribble Cycling rider, you need to be a team player.

It's quite a close-knit group of people. It seems like it’s either perfect for you, and this team gets the best from you, or it’s not quite right. This year all sixteen guys fit into that mould of it being “right” for which has contributed to early season successes.
 
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We would like to thank Ribble Pro Cycling for taking the time to talk to us about their plans in the build up to the Tour de Yorkshire. Make sure you follow the team and keep up-to-date of their race calendar.

With the team targeting top level performances in the coming year, we look forward to hearing more from our riders throughout the season, with their insight on the pro-circuit and its demands. With the first race of the season approaching fast, we'll be bringing you news of how the team get on at the Tour of Antalya UCI 2.2 race.

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"On the other hand, getting stuck with a long term perspective often leads you off track in the short term. Because you are focused on a big target, recognising when you're starting to head off track is harder, and it can be a little while before you notice there is a problem.

This is most commonly found when people over-train and don’t realise it until it is too late, by which time they need to take some time off and recover before getting back to the program."

_

 

_

In terms of riders to watch out for, it's hard to whittle down. Team selection was tough as there are a number of winning combinations.

_

_

 

"On the other hand, getting stuck with a long term perspective often leads you off track in the short term. Because you are focused on a big target, recognising when you're starting to head off track is harder, and it can be a little while before you notice there is a problem.

This is most commonly found when people over-train and don’t realise it until it is too late, by which time they need to take some time off and recover before getting back to the program."

_

 

_

Ribble Pro Cycling started racing in Le Col kit this year. The race suits are a perfect garment for the team's needs and have made the jersey and shorts pretty much obsolete for racing now. All the riders really like the Aqua Zero Gilet too, especially in the early season.

_

_


Other than a good sprint and a shed-load of watts, to be a Pro Ribble Cycling rider, you need to be a team player.

It's quite a close-knit group of people. It seems like it’s either perfect for you, and this team gets the best from you, or it’s not quite right. This year all sixteen guys fit into that mould of it being “right” for which has contributed to early season successes.
 
_


We would like to thank Ribble Pro Cycling for taking the time to talk to us about their plans in the build up to the Tour de Yorkshire. Make sure you follow the team and keep up-to-date of their race calendar.