After a highly successful 2012, Team Raleigh have undergone a significant rebuild as part of their planned progression, bringing in a number of very strong and experienced riders to complete a formidable line up for 2013.
Retained from 2012 are former National Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs, along with 2012 National Road Race Bronze medallist Russell Hampton and Scottish hard man and Commonwealth Games rider Evan Oliphant. Also retained is the talented 18-year-old Matt Holmes, silver medal winner in the British National Under-23 Road Race Championship this year.
New riders include Frenchman Alexandre Blain, Australians Richard Lang, Lachlan Norris, Sam Witmitz and Mark O’Brien, Canadian Rob Britton, Tom Scully from New Zealand and two more British riders, Tom Moses and Mark Christian.
Alexandre Blain (pictured above), 31, is a very impressive signing for Team Raleigh. Formally of the Endura racing team, Alex brings a wealth of experience to the team and his impressive palmarès includes winning the Tour de Normandy in 2011. His 2012 victories include the UCI 1.2 Rutland Melton Classic and the Maldon-Dengie Tour. He also came 3rd overall in the Mi-Aout Bretonne.
Sam Witmitz, 27, from Victoria, Australia (pictured above), is a lead-out and sprint specialist. Sam won three rounds of the 2012 Australian National Series races and recently won the Sprint competition Jersey overall in New Zealand’s Tour Of Southland.
Richard Lang, 23, from Sydney, Australia, joins the Raleigh line up from Rapha. Richard is a very strong sprinter a previous winner of Australia’s classic Goldburn to Sydney race. In 2012 he won the Beverly Elite Crit and the Newcastle Leazes Crit.
Lachlan Norris, 25, from Victoria, Australia, recently won the 2012 Tour of Tasmania overall, including a stage win and the KOM competition. In 2011 he rode as a stagiere for HTC-Highroad and took 4th overall in the Tour of Taiwan and 5th in the Australian Road Championship.
Mark O’Brien, 25, also hails from Victoria, Australia. Mark is a very strong climber, GC specialist and massive signing for Raleigh. His palmarès includes 2nd Overall in Tour of Tasmania 2012, 1st GC Tour of Mersey Valley, 1st GC North Western Tour, 1st GC Tour of Toowoomba, 1st GC Tour of the South West and 2nd in the Oceania Championship in New Zealand.
Rob Britton, 27, from Victoria in Canada, is an all-round strong man, proven climber and TT specialist. Coming 10th overall in the Tour de Beauce and 23rd in the Tour of California (World Tour), Rob will provide a big engine to drive the team along.
Tom Scully, 23, from New Zealand, is another great signing for Team Raleigh. The very talented young rider rode for Chipotle-First Solar Development Team and more recently with Garmin-Sharp as a stagiere. Tom already has an enviable palmarès with 3rd in the Paris- Roubaix under-23 Espoirs 2012, winner of the Sprints Ace Jersey and 4th overall in Singapore Crit 2012, 3rd in the Tour de Normandy Prologue 2012, 5 times UCI World Cup track medallist (2010-12) and 5 times New Zealand Elite National Track Champion (2008–12).
Tom Moses, 20, has spent the last two years with the GB Olympic Academy team. During this period he has been riding in UCI stage races in Europe, mostly in support of team members. With Team Raleigh, Tom should now have the opportunity to find his full potential. A very versatile rider, Tom was the British National Junior Cyclo Cross Champion in 2009.
Mark Christian, 22, comes from Douglas on the Isle of Man. Mark joins Team Raleigh from Sean Kelly’s An Post Team and is an accomplished road rider with good solid results in Europe during 2012. He is a very fast finisher both on the road and on the track. He came 3rd in the Delhi Commonwealth Games Points race and has picked up medals in Scratch, Points, Individual and Team Pursuit races at National and European Championships, World Cup races and Commonwealth Games and is current British National Madison Champion 2012.
Talking about the team, Manager Cherie Pridham said, “We are very pleased with the team line-up for 2013. Our aims are clear for the coming season – Tour Series, Premier Calendar and Elite Crit Series.
“It is important for the Raleigh brand that we show our dominance in the UK but I believe we have the strength and depth in the team to raise our game in Europe too. With our new and experienced signings we are certainly looking forward to our European campaign and we will continue to race as far a field as Mexico, Canada and the US.”
Team Raleigh 2013 will be launched in January at Raleigh HQ, Eastwood, Nottingham. The team will then head out to the team’s training camp in Mallorca, followed by the first race of 2013 in France in early February.