RALEIGH TO MAKE SEASON DEBUT IN MARCH

The all-new Raleigh outfit will make its season debut at the Eddie Soens race at Aintree on March 6 after training camps in Portugal and Majorca.



The team has just returned from building invaluable base miles in the Balearics.



“We did four days on, recovery, followed by four days on again,” explained team manager, Chris Truett.



“The last couple of days we worked on team skills, lead-outs, sprints, through and off; that type of thing,” Truett added.



The team camps may have been the first opportunity for the team to all get together, but bonds are already being formed Truett explained. “The lads are really gelling well together and they all enjoyed the camp”.



Truett was also keen to emphasise that when the road starts tilting upwards this year, team leader Dan Fleeman, will not be left to his own devices.




”We have at least half a dozen riders to support Fleeman on the climbs and in the king of the mountains competitions which is great.”



Aside from the training, the team’s infrastructure is gradually coming together. “We received the team van on Monday and the team cars are arriving today (Wednesday). Everyone is keen as mustard and raring to go and I’m knackered,” Truett joked, “but we’re nearly all there. We’ll be doing a couple of local races before then, but the Eddie Soens will be our first major race together”.  



After starting the season in the UK, the team will fly out to the Cinturon Majorca followed by the Tour of Mexico. Interspersed with wind-tunnel testing at Silverstone to refine positioning on road and time trial bikes, it will be a busy start to the year for Raleigh.

Team Raleigh launch, January 2010

Truett on the mic at the Raleigh presentation



MOSS REFLECTS ON BIRTHDAY SPENT BATTLING ADVERSITY IN THE MED

Just three years ago, James Moss was a second-cat with MTS. Even in 2009, having bagged his his Elite license, he was still mixing cycling for Kinesis with a job as a Chartered Surveyor.



A full-time cyclist for the first time this year with Endura, he found himself mixing it with the likes of Alejandro Valverde and Alexandre Vinokourov in a freezing edition of the Tour of the Med – quite a shift from the CDNW races, his first forays in the sport.



“The picture on the front of the race manual was Luis Leon Sanchez in short sleeves and shorts – it wasn’t like that this year, let’s put it that way!” Moss said.



The team were well placed in the bunch at the start of the first stage, but the speed quickly went haywire. “We were towards the front end of the race, then about 10km in, the road changed direction into a crosswind and it suddenly got very grippy.



“Valverde asked his team-mates to put it in the gutter, and they certainly did. The race was in bits: big teams were out the back before us.”



“I pulled out of the line after about 20 kilometres, and was chasing in the cars.” However, while making his way back through the convoy, a sudden gust blew Moss into the Ag2r-La Mondiale vehicle at 60km/h, and he went down.



“It’s not what you need 20k into your first proper race,” Moss smiled in hindsight.

Picking himself up, he fought back to the bunch to finish the day 131st.



Road rash wasn’t his only worry either. “I only had a few gears left because I’d dislodged one of the outer cables on the rear mech – I only had the 11, 12 and 13 sprockets,” he explained.



The next day was Moss’s twenty-fifth birthday – and he spent it suffering in the gutter, enduring the pain of his crash. “Every time I turned a pedal I’d pull a scab apart!” Moss exclaimed.



He continued: “We went down into a valley and a lot of boys were looking cold. Then the bunch started to chase the break, it went into a crosswind. By this point, the bottles had bloody frozen over and I was struggling to get any food down because of my shoulder.



“I got spat out and spent the next 30 kilometres chasing. Eventually I got onto the gruppetto and finished. I was shaking, having blown my doos completely. It was definitely a birthday to remember!”



Moss pulled out early on in stage three, ready to fight another day. “I felt like death; I think my whole body had taken a big knock when I went down.”



Moss feels that the whole experience will pay dividends for his teammates. “The lads have done well getting round. They might feel crap now but in a few days or weeks, they’ll be reaping the benefit of it.”



Eschewing the Tour du Haut Var, Moss plans to recover fully from his crash and train hard with Endura in the coming weeks.





SOLDIERS’ CHARITY CYCLING EVENT

Soldiers Chris Bonser and colleagues will ride the Hadrian’s Wall Coast to Coast ride in ten hours on April Fools Day to try raise money for a colleague’s daughter who is suffering from Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.



The four-year-old boy’s survival rests in a new form of treatment only available in the United States at a staggering cost of £250,000.



The just giving website and further details are at: http://www.justgiving.com/2-Div-EH-Coast-to-Coast





SYDENHAM SPORTIVE NOW ON MARCH 7

A brief but heavy snow shower forced Sydenham Wheelers to postpone it annual reliability trial last Sunday, the Tour of the Weald.





It will now be held on Sunday, March 7.





Ride distances around the Kent lanes are 107 and 64km, both starting from Knockholt village hall at 9am.





Entry on the line, £5.



www.sydenhamwheelers.co.uk