Ranked number one in the UK, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling men’s team competes on the world stage and has made a great start to the 2022 season, writes Jan Woolley

Ribble Cycles is one of the oldest brands in cycling with a rich history dating back to 1897 when it was first founded in Preston. Fast forward to the 21st century and today they are a global brand, headlining the world-beating Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling (RWPC) men’s team.

A recent two-week training stint in Calpe, Spain, set the team up in readiness for the current cycling season that has already seen 15 wins in the UK and Europe.

With high hopes for the Tour of Britain in September, the number-one ranked team in the UK are in great shape and their impressive new Ultra SL R edition machines, engineered by Ribble Cycles, which has a manufacturing facility in Preston, are already attracting lots of attention.

“It’s Ribble’s flagship performance professional road bike and we have definitely seen a step up – particularly in the flat races,” says team rider Jack Rees.

“It really attracts attention with its handlebars, engineering, aerodynamics and colours that work with the kit. The Ultra SL R is a significant part of Ribble’s reputation for innovation, and we are seeing marginal gains across all areas. As a team we optimise all areas of performance from our bikes to our race strategy.”

The pre-season training saw the team fly to Alicante to escape the chilly British weather: “Calpe is brilliant – it’s a mecca for cyclists. It was great for us from a training perspective as a team, being all together.

“We invited the nutritionist and our clothing partners – it was very much open house and was a very productive two weeks. It is all about teamwork and working collaboratively,” says Jack, who is the team’s operational director, responsible for competition logistics, organising transport for the bikes, riders and support team.

“While there was undoubtedly a lot more barriers last year when travelling, we have managed quite well this year – it’s been easier,” says Jack, who was part of the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling (RWPC) team that won the Tour Series last year.

The RWPC team is a UCI Continental team that was founded in 2017 to provide a platform for developing riders, allowing them to compete at global level.

Having enjoyed considerable success, the team now competes all over the world in some of the leading cycle races on the calendar. They have riders based across the North of England and the Midlands, with riders also competing across the UK from national championships to local circuit races.

Since the team’s inception, the riders have raced in Belgium, France, Poland, Spain, Qatar and Hong Kong – a truly global calendar.

Among the races they have competed in so far this season has been the 80k Eddie Soens Memorial at Aintree, which saw Ribble Weldite’s Cameron Jeffers win: “Cameron is a Lancashire lad and he was the first one to win a race on the new bike,” says Jack, who also competed with the team in the same race.

Last month in the Rutland Classic – the UK’s only single-day, international professional men’s cycle road race, contested over a 180k course, saw Ribble Weldtite’s Finn Crockett sprinting down the arrow-straight finishing road to win the race.

As a British brand Ribble Cycles are proud to be the title partner to the British team, as Jack explains: “We are a British team flying the flag for a British brand. We are very much a progressive group and we have some really strong riders.”

Among the Ribble Weldtite 14-strong team are the Tanfield brothers, who were signed by RWPC last year. The Yorkshire-born brothers, Harry and Charlie, are world class riders who have a background in Olympic and World Tour competition.

Before joining the RWPC line-up Harry spent three years competing at World Tour level. An accomplished time trialist and single-day specialist, and having participated in the Vuelta a España, his addition has strengthened the team’s stage racing capabilities.

The younger of the brothers, Charlie, competed with Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics and has Commonwealth Gold, World and European Championship medals along with multiple national titles.

Having had a great start to the 2022 season, the team continue to train hard and meticulously prepare: “With all competitions preparation is key,” says Jack.

“We cover as many areas as we can. Obviously, the bike and equipment is central and we have full time mechanics on board. Nutrition has also been re-evaluated – we are on a really high-volume, carb-fuelling strategy to ensure top level performance.

“We also put a lot of work in before a race preparing around the weather conditions – that can have a real impact both here in the UK and in Europe.

“We are making great strides around the world.”

Enjoying their success and keen to encourage young riders, the RWPC team visits schools and colleges throughout the country: “We conduct assemblies and do lots of ‘meets and greets’ at family events to promote the team and the sport.”

The team are also involved in a Derby-based academy that enables young riders to progress in the sport and to pursue professional careers in cycling.

Jack concludes: “The Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team have a great following within the community which is fantastic. We really do want to establish a legacy that will help the young riders of the future.”



Tedd Walmsley

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