This year Stefan Wyman and his British based team are joining the Pro-Ranks and competing against the best in Europe, this is a massive step for the team and women’s cycling in this country, I attended the team launch and got some reactions from Stefan and the riders apart from Laura Trott who seemed so rushed off her feet, with all the attention so I thought I wouldn’t add to it.
There was a very special guest at the launch ‘Shut Up legs’ Jens Voigt and the Jensie selfie was very popular.
Stefan Wyman (Director Sportive)
“ This is a very exciting step up for us, we have been dipping into pro races for the past years, a few one day races and a couple of stage races, but to be constantly going to these events is huge for us, when you look at our schedule for February and March its quite daunting really. The first few weeks though we just want to develop as a team and find our feet, but hope to be going well by the end of March/April, I think the first big challenge for us will be the ‘Women’s Tour’ then hopefully helping Laura defend her British title on the Lincoln course, We are lucky to have riders like Lucy Martin and Laura Trott on the team, and I’m sure Lucy’s experience will help some of the less experienced riders on the team, but I want her getting back to stepping up onto the podium and I know she can be a consistently good rider on the world scene. The team have a fantastic set of supportive sponsors Matrix, Miltag, Vulpine, Skoda and some new ones Hollywood Monster, Yellow Jersey and Trek whose bikes are absolutely fantastic, and we hope to do everyone proud”
I asked the riders what they felt about joining Matrixprocycling for the 2015/16 season
“ I’m now one of the oldest and most experienced riders on this team, which feels quite weird, I stared speaking to Stefan at the end of the year and when he said he was putting together a British UCI team, I thought why not, I have been on so many different European teams coming back to a British one with British sponsors was a opportunity I couldn’t let go , and its great to be back here and just remember what its like to be British again, its just great. Stefan has been so supportive and I feel I already owe him, I had an awful year in 2014 and I just didn’t enjoy my cycling, even found myself questioning why am I doing this? Stefan hasn’t put any pressure on me he just wants for me to get back to where I was, it might be a slow progress but having that support and being part of a strong team is just what I need right now”
“ I’m really excited about the season, i’ve been racing for four years now and feel i’ve developed and ready to take the next step up any earlier or any later would be the wrong time for me so this is perfect, like I said earlier I’ve been with the team a long time so that make’s the progression a lot smoother into the pro ranks, I hope to gain a lot of experience from the early season and be on form for the ‘Women’s Tour’ but all in all this year will be a great experience so I just want to take it all in”
“ I feel like I have been in the right place at the right time as regard Matrix, all this was quite unexpected, I have to take this year as it comes and enjoy the experience, last season was a big change for me being paid to ride my bike, so this is another step up the ladder, Its great to just doing you training and go home although now I have just began a ‘Open University’ course so I have something else to focus on.
I’ve done a rece of our first race ‘Omloop Het Nieuwsblad’ on Saturday and feeling just a bit nervous after seeing what is facing us , although there is no pressure on the team so it will be just a case of getting our name out there”
“ This is a big step up for me as a junior but there is no pressure on me and the opportunity to ride with Matrixprocycling is very exciting, I can learn from all the other girls, they have so much more experience than me, once I finish my ‘A’ levels I hope to get out to France and Belgium to race there and build on my knowledge , but my aim for the season is to perform well in the Women’s Series”
“ I have already had a great time with this team, 2012 was fantastic, then I had a period away when I didn’t ride too much, but rejoining the team has been fantastic Stefan has shown a lot of belief in me and got me back to where I am now, last year riding the ‘Women’s Tour’ with Matrix was really special everyone coming to England and the crowds of support, its kind of where I got my love for cycling back, I then thought this is my job and passion, now this year I have a new coach and he has given me the tools and opportunity to be the best I can without putting me under too much pressure, its up to me now and could be a make or break year, It was great to meet ‘Jensie’ today and he told me to enjoy the racing and the atmosphere, but also to explore all the places we visit and take in the culture and the different surroundings, basically to enjoy the experience”
“ This is massively exciting prospect moving up to UCI level with the team, Stef has set up a great structure for us and I think it should be very good, having a long term plan is fantastic we are all young riders and it will give us a chance to grow as a team, there comes a point when you need to take a plunge and fully commit to your sport and now is a great time to do that in women’s cycling and hopefully as a team we can grow with it and it will pay off in the long run, this whole season is going to be a big learning curve and hopefully it will set us up for things to come”
“ Stefs understanding of my track program and the priorities I have have been fantastic and that means a great deal to me, I think he is one of the rare DS’s where he is very hands on but all his priorities are in the right place and wants to promote women’s cycling, but doesn’t forget about the racing in the process because ultimately thats why we are all here”