Talented riders Sarah Byrne and Jessie Walker will both be joining the Horizon Fitness – Prendas Ciclismo squad in 2012.
Sarah Byrne competes in Oldham
“We’ve been watching them for some time, and both riders had remarkable seasons this year,” confirmed Team Manager Stefan Wyman. “Sarah showed how strong she is during the Johnson Health Tech GP series this year. Competing as an individual, she was one of the few riders that could really affect the outcome of the events. Her ride in Oldham was particularly impressive and we feel with the support of a team we’ll see exciting performances from her next season.”
Sarah reflected on joining the team and her plans: “I'm really excited to be signing for Horizon for the 2012 season. It's great to have been rewarded for my efforts in 2011 by getting a ride for such a high profile team. Next season I'm hoping to put in good performances in the Tour Series to help the team in the overall standings, with another main target being the national road race championships. I’d also like to make my mark in team races abroad.”
Commenting on fellow newcomer, Jessie Walker, Wyman continued “Jessie has massive potential and we’ve been speaking with her since the Johnson Health Tech GP series in the summer. She progressed at every race this season and won at Lichfield, showing that even as a first year junior she has the talent it takes to reach the top. Our squad for 2012 is going to be very young, and it’s riders like Jessie that are going to be the driving force of our team going forward. It’s a really exciting prospect for us as we keep building year on year.”
Jessie added: “I'm over the moon to be selected to ride for Horizon Fitness RT. It's a big step up for me as I raced on my own this year, but I'm up for the challenge. It's a great opportunity for me and I don't want to disappoint, so I'm going to have a really solid winter of training and hopefully I'll be ready.”
Giving an insight into what awaits the girls, Stefan explained: “Our season will be similar to last year in structure. We’ll start with a team training camp, where we’ll work very hard on getting the team to gel, and ensuring each rider has the right programme in front of them as they blend studies and racing. 2012 is of course really important with the home Olympics, and we’re looking to make sure we have a special year and plan around all necessary events. The UCI race programme for 2012 has been released and there are some really interesting races on there. There are also some new events on the UK calendar and we hope to be a force in them all!”
The two riders will be joining the already strong, experienced squad, made up of a good mix of ages with a mixture of climbers and sprinters. Riders such as World and National Champion Dani King, 2009 Welsh Road Race Champion Hannah Rich, and Gold Medallist and World Champion Sarah Story will be complementing the 2012 line-up.
Further announcements about the team line-up for 2012 will be made soon.