Team Corley Cycles Gather at Webber`s Place
Posted 8 March, 2010; by Gordon Wiseman
Team Corley Cycles – Alpha RC launched their 2010 racing programme at an informal gathering on Saturday morning at Mentmore’s The Stag, the British-Mediterranean restaurant co-owned by Red Bull F1 ace Mark Webber. An exciting race programme faces the many riders who’ll be competing in the familiar Team Corley colours of red, black and white throughout the year as they compete on the road, track, off road and the British traditional end-of-year hill climbs. All disciplines in which the team members excelled in 2009.
Aussie F1 star, Mark Webber, joins the Corley Cycles team outside his pub in the picturesque area of Mentmore (Buckinghamshire).
The rider line-up is very much the same as last year but in addition to the elite and mainly Milton Keynes based club riders, the team has now taken on board three locally based youngsters who form the basis of an exciting development squad. “We wanted to give young, local riders something to aim for, to give them a chance to develop as racing cyclists” explained team patron Phil Corley, himself the 1978 British Road Race champion.
“In part we’ve linked up with Team MK, another of Milton Keynes local clubs, in forming this development squad and we’re really hoping that these three riders grasp this opportunity with both hands”.
Interestingly the three riders, Jake Hales, Jack Waller and Luke Smulders, all started their racing careers in the Mobil Youth Challenge, the youth based cycling series that was run at the National Bowl in the late 1990’s and which was the platform from which Ian Stannard, now with Team Sky, embarked on his bike racing career.
The 11-man elite squad will focus on British Cycling’s Premier Calendar but it was recently leaked in the national cycling press that Team Corley Cycles has also been confirmed as one of the ten teams who’ll contest the highly competitive televised Tour Series of city centre races in May and June this year. “That was very important for the team” said one of Team Corley’s leading riders Simon Gaywood, winner of the British Cycling 2003 Elite Circuit Race Series. “Riding the Tour Series means that we’ll all have to plan our racing year very carefully as the Tour races are much shorter that the Premier Calendar events”.
The team has continued to receive support from many of its suppliers from 2009 including frames from the international giant Cervelo, numerous components from the distributor Madison and Mavic’s distinctive yellow footwear. A new name on the team jerseys for 2010 is that of Vitesse who provide the team’s race clothing.
Top Aussie F1 driver Mark Webber, himself a regular customer at the Stacey Bushes home for Phil Corley Cycles, was very happy to take on the role of honoury President of the team and Alpha RC and was inviting all team members to take part in the Cycling Sportive he organises each year. The 2010 edition of the Ride to the Horns is due to take place on Sunday 4 July on the roads around Mentmore.
Richard Cartland getting stuck in at the Severn Bridge Road Race. Photo Richard Robotham.
Over the past few years, an important partner of Team Corley Cycles – Alpha RC has been Willen Hospice and they’ll be continuing their association with Team Corley in 2010. “The Hospice provides a vital platform of support in the local community” explained Dick Hooper, Team Manager for the squad and Phil Corley’s business partner. “Over the last 3 years, we’ve raised more that £15,000 sponsorship for them and we want to increase that figure in 2010”.
But how does Phil Corley see the new season progressing? “For this year, we’ve got riders who can compete at the top level both on and off road and on the track. Our main focus has to be the Premier Calendar and Tour Series and we’ve got the riders who can produce results in both. I know they’ve all done the training for 2010, now we’re just waiting for the races to begin!”
Paul Foreman put in a typically gutsy ride at the National Bowl on Saturday. After proving himself to be the strongest rider on the day and covering many attacks at the front of the race, Paul took fifth place overall in the final sprint to the line.
In Sunday’s 66 mile Severn Bridge Road Race at Bristol, Richard Cartland was one of the pair of riders who broke away from the field on the final lap of the race. The pair quickly built up a 20 second lead with less than 7 miles to go but at the finish, Richard was another Team Corley rider to be overtaken in the rush for the finishing line, coming home in 9th place overall.
Phil Corley (left) and Dick Hooper (right) flank some of the 2010 Team Corley Cycles – Alpha RC line-up