New Clarion race team is aimed at bridging the gap

West Lothian Clarion cyclists Alex Ball and George Freeman will be part of club's new cycle team.
West Lothian Clarion cyclists Alex Ball and George Freeman will be part of club's new cycle team.

West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club are excited to announce the launch of an exciting new race team for the upcoming season.

The newly formed outfit is aimed at helping riders bridge the gap between youth and junior racing in 2018.

Two riders will be supported by the club and four sponsors have already come on board to form a pilot project for road, track and cyclo-cross in races across the UK.

Alex Ball (16) and George Freeman (15), who finished second and third respectively in the Scottish Cyclo-Cross Series, will wear the team kit this season as they are part of the forefront of the new campaign.

In addition, the club is delighted to have the support of James McCallum at What’s Your M.E.T.A? to coach the riders and the expertise of Nick McCue of Hooked on Cycling, who will service and fit the bikes.

They have both committed to help from a training and equipment perspective, while Force GB are generously providing clothing and Scott have provided helmets and leg/knee/arm warmers.

Club coach Matthew Ball said: “We believe that building a race team will create a pathway for older riders who want to race competitively.”

The team will run as pilot project to help develop a relationship with sponsors over the coming season, moving from a youth squad in 2018 to a junior team in 2019.

Matthew added: “We need a race team presence so that riders know the Clarion has a pathway when they move into the junior ranks.”

“Once the team has a firm foundation we hope to build a larger junior squad of male and female riders who will compete in Road, Track, CX and MTB disciplines in the coming years.”

The first goal of the season will be selection for the Youth Tour of Scotland, followed by the Scottish road and track series.

In August the team will be at the Youth Tour of Errigal in Ireland.

The race team will dovetail with the club’s youth performance programme so that a pathway will be available for those who want to pursue elite cycle racing.