March 1st 2016, Derby Arena Velodrome. Team GB track legend, Bryan Steel, sees a dream he’s nurtured for the last few years finally become a reality: The Godfrey Bikewear Race Team sponsored by Vision Express is launched.
A raft of Olympic and World Championship medals didn’t come Bryan’s way by accident. They arrived through hard work, dedication and help of those around him in the early years to ensure he was able realise his true potential. That premise is at the core of the East Midlands’ newest race squad: Developing talented young riders, by offering the best support possible, to see them reach their goal.That goal is to see each of the squad sign a professional contract and represent the region and country at the highest level. Just as the team’s founder himself did; “If they’re still on this team, at this level, in 3 years- we’ve failed” is the bottom line for Bryan. Selection to this team needs to be seen as merely the first step for any aspiring young riders, not the end goal.
The team consists of four East Midlands based riders, riders whom Bryan believes can make it to the top: Nottingham racer Corey Ashley (whose Ciclissimo! interview from the Christmas period can be viewed here), Beeston cycling duo David Ogg & Pierre Vernie and Road Captain Ross Lamb, from Mansfield.
Ross says of the opportunity “It’s is something that I have always hoped for- working with Bryan has been a great experience! For example, the recent tests at the University of Lincoln underlines the team’s professional approach in getting us ready for if we do make that next move up the ladder to the pro ranks. Although the tests where hard they’re what we all needed, giving us a platform to work from. We’ll be back there soon to check on our improvements…” Of the media hubub and sponsor photo opportunities at the launch itself, he enthusiastically continues “The launch event was a great experience. From very first day the feel of the team has been really professional and that came across even more at the velodrome yesterday, having headline sponsors such as Godfrey Bikewear and Vision Express is awesome – I can’t thank them and the other partners enough! Godfrey Bikewear have put together a look for the team which will arguably be the classiest kit in the peloton this year- especially riding the Bianchi bikes, supplied by Long Eaton Cycles!”
It is not just Bryan and his support staff that are excited about the project and eager to see the first race numbers pinned on at the Evesham Vale Road Race on 13 March. Brad Legrand, Director of team sponsor, Carter Legrand Wealth Strategies, says “For me, supporting the team was a no brainer. You have the coming together of a four-time Olympian, local, national and international sponsors and four guys who want to win and progress to the professional ranks, while flying the flag for the East Midlands.’
Beyond the season opener, the squad are planning a jam packed schedule of races including The Milk Race, National Championships and National Series events before heading across to Belgium in August.
To see the squad enjoying their first outing in the new kit, on those aforementioned Bianchi bikes, as well as hearing from the team and DS Steel on the aims and ethos of the squad, check out their great little promotion video here