The U23 team run by SW Bike Academy, formerly Team Qoroz, is undergoing major changes for 2012.
After being sponsored by Qoroz Titanium bikes for 3 years, major changes will take effect from the end of the year. The U23 team, that had such a successful and high profile 2011 season, has formed a partnership with Elite French-American based squad, Equipe CMI. This partnership forms a strong pan-European set-up that will undertake an extensive and exciting race calendar that includes UCI stage races, as well as a full UK programme.
Team manager David Walters commented "The partnership with CMI will allow the young riders from the UK to develop their skills and understanding of what it takes to succeed in the sport alongside experienced and high quality European teammates, in a wide-ranging race calendar. CMI has amassed 119 UCI points over the last 12 months (U23 jersey in a stage of the Tour of Greece; victory in Tour of Serbia final stage; overall win of the Tour du Faso etc) which is a considerable achievement and shows the calibre of the team we are partnering with. We have high hopes, whilst plans for the future are already in place. This is a serious and ambitious project."
Acting as a development arm to the senior CMI squad, the U23's will have a ladder from junior level through to national tours, which will act as a great incentive for the youngsters, whilst providing a fantastic platform from which to develop the whole project further.
CMI's Sim Green added; "We're really excited to further our international racing project. Adding a U23 arm means we're assuring ourselves of a longer term future in the sport for many years to come. We were all young once, and I would have given anything to be part of set-up like this when I was a young upstart rider. So the opportunity to give back to the sport and to help younger riders through the ranks is something we've been wanting to do for a few years now. The SW Bike Academy has proven it's ability to form young riders for the future and we've been in contact for a few years now. It was just a matter of time before everything fell into place and we joined forces."
The riders for the CMI development squad for 2012 are; Luke Dunbar, Todd Hotchkiss, Al Murison, Conor Ryan and Jack Reed (jnr).
Chris Davies of qoroz commented "The relationship between the Academy and qoroz has been incredibly beneficial for both parties, and their input has helped bring the qoroz race product up to the high level it is now. The youngsters on the squad have represented us professionally and with commitment, and have achieved great things with our considerable support, notably winning Perfs Pedal last season. Onwards and upwards for all. "
Details of the varied sponsorships, bikes, equipment and partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks, including details on a relationship with Exeter University to form a cycling specific programme within the Sports faculty.