In this new series, we shine a spotlight on some of the non-Continental domestic teams in the UK. First up is Cycling Sheffield, a small Sheffield-based team run by Dave Coulson.
The British Continental teams tend dominate the domestic road racing scene, both in terms of results and publicity. But look more closely at the domestic scene and you’ll notice that elite-level teams form an important part of the fabric too. They not only provide a critical proving ground for riders wanting to step up to Continental level, or higher, they add spice and colour to top-level domestic races, including the National Road Series, and can also be race protaganists in their own right.
Cycling Sheffield are one such team. The six-rider squad has been an ever-present part of the National Road Series this season. And far from merely making up the numbers, they have regularly been in the mix at the pointy end of things. Kieran Savage’s 10th place at the iconic Lincoln Grand Prix last month was a fine example of this.
Introducing the team
The team was established in 2014 as Envelopemaster – Giant. Set up as
Now more than ever, a cycling team is a viable marketing option, but it requires a lot of creativity and new ideasDave Coulson, Cycling Sheffield
Rebranded as Cycling Sheffield since 2017, the team very much has its roots in the city after which it is named. Part of its mission is to promote the team’s partners and the city of Sheffield.
Dave Coulson tells us that the aim is to achieve “greater financial stability and sustainability by creating a geographic identity, similar to that of a football team. Now more than ever, a cycling team is a viable marketing option, but it requires a lot of creativity and new ideas.”
The team has already had its fair share of success on the road this season. Kieran Savage, in particular, has turned many heads. As well as 10th in the Lincoln Grand Prix, the youngster won the Roy Thame Cup and was an active member of the day’s breakaway at the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix.
The team plans to ride a full programme of National Road Series races this season and also have plans to ride selected crits and may also feature in UCI races.
UCI status is a natural ambition, but only if we can be confident it would be sustainableDave Coulson, Cycling Sheffield
Asked what success what would look like for the team this year, Coulson says, “we’d be happy if we have either increased our budget in order to allow us to keep the likes of Kieran or, if not, to help him and any of our riders move on to teams which can offer a better race programme.”
As ever in cycling, what happens next with the team will be down to money. Coulson reflects, “it’s down to cash. UCI status is a natural ambition, but only if we can be confident it would be sustainable.”
|Team owner/manager/DS/coach||Dave Coulson|
|PR||Sally Evans – Millichamp Ltd|
For more about the team, visit their website.