Long serving team boss Phil Griffiths will head up a new name in the home road scene - Node4 – Giordana Racing Team supported by Subaru. Following Motorpoint's withdrawal, Griffiths has pulled in a passionate new sponsor and an impressive list of new signings.
Backed by Malcolm Elliot and Bill Nickson in the team car, Griffiths' new signings include top young Irish rider Phil Lavery, who moves across from An Post.
Griffiths has also secured Rico Rogers, a major signing for the new team. "He will be our sprinter, he has a formidable record including a stage win in the Tour of China’, said Griffiths of the 34 year old New Zealander.
On the track World Champion Lucy Garner will be riding for Node 4 Giordana Racing Team in omnium events at the Rotterdam and Bremen Sixes in early January.
A passion for cycling is something that both Griffiths and Node 4 Data Centre Solutions' Andrew Griffiths share. Stepping in to plug the gap left by Motorpoint's withdrawal, Gilbert said 'I personally love cycling. It can be an addictive sport. But I particularly love Phil Griffiths’ passion for the sport and his total commitment to developing the sport and the team. His zest and enthusiasm after so many years involvement to cycling were enough for us to put our name to his team and I am sure it will be a mutually successful partnership.’
Philip Lavery, who has spent most of the past two years racing in Belgium, most recently with Sean Kelly’s An Post said: 'Phil has a good reputation for treating his riders well' before commenting on how Node4's forthcoming race programme suits him; 'The kind of race programme like the Ras, Tour of Britain, Tour of Norway and stage races in France, Spain and Portugal suit me more than a lot of the Belgian races."
Matt Cronshaw, who has joined from Raleigh said: 'I am looking forward to the programme we have and stepping up to show what I can do. We have a well organised team with ambitions and having a manager like Malcolm who everyone respects means it will be a good year.
‘I tend to go well early in the season so will hope to repeat my stage win the Tour of Doon Hame if I get picked and do the Lincoln and East Midlands as they are races which suit me. At this level you want to ride good races and push yourself. I am not being given a bike and nice kit just for me to have a laugh. I have to justify my place but I have plenty of belief.’
Elliott, who has still not definitely drawn a line under his riding career said: 'We have signed an interesting blend of riders. We are not obviously a super team, so it is teams like Endura, who have upped the ante, and will have the pressure on them.
‘The scene is constantly shifting on Rapha have changed their emphasis as have Raleigh. There are now six UCI teams competing on home roads. Every year the competition steps up. Some of our riders have unfulfilled ambitions. Hopefully I can pass on as much knowledge as I can.
‘A rider like Dave Clarke is unstoppable when he gets going. I have experienced this at first hand. I have seen what he is capable of. He did an immense amount of work for Endura this year at times he went to the front and did the work of five or six men!’
‘Pete Williams had a season to forget due to his early training crash he can be a winner you only have go back to his performance on 2010 Ras. As for Matt Cronshaw we have been watching him for sometime. We would have liked him on board last season but he signed for Raleigh. He can be a winner for us. It will be my job to improve the whole package.’
After a desperately unfortunate season wrecked by a crash in the Tour of the Dengies Marshes, Andrew Magnier is hoping to make his comeback to racing during the season. Now working in Phil’s company he will finally have the metal plates out of his elbow in the New Year.