Features Insight Teams

2019 team preview: Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother

Key facts, squad list and the British Conti Insider verdict on the team

It’s all change at Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother for 2019. Like Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes, the team has increased sponsorship for next season and a much-changed, much-strengthened line-up. Notable incomers include classics specialist Scott Thwaites from Dimension Data, Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy, fast man Chris Latham, road captain Ali Slater and former British Cycling senior academy rider Joe Holt. If 2018 was a transitional season for the team, 2019 should see them challenging for top results at home and abroad.

This preview provides you with key facts about the team and a comprehensive list of who is in the squad and who is out. It also features the verdict on the team from our newly signed British Conti Insider…

My view is 2019 will see Vitus Pro Cycling, renewed and invigorated,  step up and return to the winning ways of years gone by

At the 2019 team launch. Photo: Sean Hardy / Vitus Pro Cycling

Key facts and figures

Team managerCherie Pridham
Established2014*
Previous team namesTeam Raleigh-GAC (2014-17)
Squad size14
UCI World Ranking points
(at 28.01.19)
120 – 4th out of 6 British Conti teams
No. of new signings11
No. of retained riders3
No. of departing riders10
Average rider age
(at 15.01.19)
24.9 – 3rd oldest British Conti squad
UCI race wins 2018
None
National A race wins 2018None
First 2019 race10.03 GP de la Ville de Lillers (FRA)

* Team Raleigh began in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2014 that ‘Cherie Pridham Racing’ took ownership of the team

2019 kit

It is in the sprints (and thus crits) where I see this team being one of the strongest on the domestic scene

Verdict: the British Conti Insider’s view

Our ‘British Conti insider’ is an active DS with experience in the UK and abroad. Here is their verdict on the 2019 Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother squad.

After what can only be described as a disappointing 2018, Vitus Pro Cycling have capitalised on the demise of JLT Condor and One Pro and signed several proven race winners. Only three 2018 Vitus riders are retained including the evergreen Adam Kenway. The signing of Scott Thwaites is a real coup – despite injury and nearly quitting the sport as a result, Scott will be a massive boost to team morale and hopefully results. His signing should also help with the team getting invites into UCI races; and couple this with Olympic champion Ed Clancy, Chris Latham, Graham Briggs and stalwart Ali Slater, race organisers would be remiss not to take a punt on this newly refreshed and strengthened squad.

I like the inclusion of Dylan Kerfoot-Robson and Joe Holt and with guidance both could do well this season and beyond. It’s also encouraging to see Cherie Pridham give a chance to some riders that have come through the elite ranks and have been ‘there and thereabouts’ but not quite winning big: I mean Mikey Mottram, and Frederik Schescke – again with guidance both could do well, with Schescke being a handy sprinter, and Mikey a big strong engine in a domestique role. Irishman Chris McGlinchey can turn a handy pedal having a silver medal at the Irish National road race to his credit. The rest of the team I would argue is there for ‘development’ so expect to see them supporting National Bs and local races as the chance of selection into the A team is going to be tight. 

As with the other teams, Vitus has secured some overseas racing, but as SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling is finding, it’s not as easy as dropping an email to a race organiser and getting an immediate response. The invite process is, frankly, a lottery, so let’s hope the team secures some solid invites, and with some results on the board, this should be a cinch. Tour of Britain and Tour de Yorkshire selection loom large on the horizon, and with the Tour Series almost certain to be a qualifier for Tour of Britain, I expect to see Vitus in the line-up.

Who’s going to win? Clancy will, Briggs will, Thwaites will… and it is in the sprints (and thus crits) where I see this team being one of the strongest on the domestic scene. Yes, Thwaites, Briggs, Slater and Latham have proven their worth at UCI level road races but if they get it together with Clancy in the Tour Series watch out for fireworks. That’s one train that will take some beating. Latham seems to have lost his direction a bit (and frankly is one rider I would have liked to have worked with) but get his mojo back and he’s a true talent on road and track.

But once again, it’s not all about the riders, it’s about having strong leadership from management, and an aspect that concerns many is the rider retention rate at CPR (Cherie Pridham Racing). Cherie will need to use all her years of experience and skill to lead these very experienced riders and to retain them for 2020, as it takes at least this time to produce a cohesive unit. Time will tell, and let’s not forget under her guidance the team, in its many guises, has taken some fantastic victories and would not be around to this day without an impressive CV to take to sponsors and secure the necessary funds to continue. My view is 2019 will see Vitus Pro Cycling, renewed and invigorated,  step up and return to the winning ways of years gone by. 

2019 squad

RiderCountryPrevious team
Graham BriggsGBRJLT Condor
Ed ClancyGBRJLT Condor
Liam DaviesGBRVitus Pro Cycling
Joe HoltGBRGB senior academy
Adam KenwayGBRVitus Pro Cycling
Dylan Kerfoot-RobsonGBRTeam Wiggins
Chris Latham
GBROne Pro Cycling
Chris McGinchleyIRLIndependent
Mikey MottramGBRMorvelo Basso
Frederik SchesckeGERTeam Tor 2000 Kalas
Alistair SlaterGBRJLT Condor
Scott ThwaitesGBRTeam Dimension Data
Timothy TorrieGBRVitus Pro Cycling
Red WaltersGBRSotonia CC

Departures

RiderCountry2019 status
Deins KanepejsLATAmore & Vita – Prodir
Ben WalshIRLGSC Blagnac Vélo Sport 31
Grant MartinGBRNot known
Leon GledhillGBRNot known
Joshua HuntGBRRetired
Julio Alberto AmoresSPAElectro Hiper Europa-Ristrasol
Harrison JonesGBRGSC Blagnac Vélo Sport 31
Joe ReillyGBRNot known
Andy ShackelGBRNot known
Bertie NeweyGBRNot known
Photo: Alex Duffill

Feature photo: Alex Duffill