Team Hope Factory Racing signing James Sharpe believes that the amateur outfit can have a say on the domestic circuit in 2012.
Sharpe joins Paul Oldham at the recently formed amateur road team
Sharpe, who turned 37 at the end of October and has ridden across a number of disciplines including mountain bike and cyclo-cross, added that he was excited by the pool of the riders the new team have brought together and that they could make inroads at the Premier Calendar and Elite Circuit Series races.
“I am really excited about Team Hope Factory Racing. Although it has been a few years since my Kona days, racing for a quality amateur team at the premier level is really something to look forward to. Joining Paul Oldham on the road, as well as the other quality riders Lee has in mind, will make us an outfit to watch. I recognise we are an amateur team and we are under no illusion competing against the professional outfits is going to be huge challenge, however I still believe that we can have an impact at the Premier Calendar and National Crit races’
Team Manager Lee Owen-Stanford added: “Whilst James and I go way back, riding at club level when we were kids, giving Jamie a ride on the team had nothing to do with that. It was based on his experience, results and commitment he would give to the team.
“Everyone who knows him recognises his talent. Getting a sixth place at the Ryedale Gran Prix as a solo rider against professional teams is testament to that, plus he ticks all of the requirements for Hope Technology Ltd and Paul Oldham. In Jamie we have a full rounded rider, someone who can compete at a national level on the road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross races.”