CYCLING: Ride 24/7 team confident of success in 2014

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The Ride 24/7 Senior and Youth teams pictured at their recent launch at the picturesque Chavenage House near Tetbury The Ride 24/7 Senior and Youth teams pictured at their recent launch at the picturesque Chavenage House near Tetbury

RIDE 24/7 cycle shop in Cirencester will have a three-pronged attack in races throughout 2014.

They again look to have put together a very competitive senior road race team built around Ben Luckwell and Grant Bayton.

And Ride 24/7 revealed at their recent launch at the idyllic Chavenage House near Tetbury that they are also investing in youth by running a new Youth Development Team.

The youth squad has been a slow-burning project for both shop owner Dave Evans and his team manager Bayton which has finally come to fruition.

Bayton said: "We are creating a pathway to the future."

Meanwhile, they will also have a representative in the national series of cross country mountain biking as Darren Compton has signed for the Ride 24/7 team.

The senior road race squad definitely looks capable of regular wins and podium finishes.

Bayton is the son of former Team GB Olympic cyclist Phil Bayton, as well as being a top quality racer in his own right and a former British No.8.

While Luckwell competed in the GB road race team at the Seoul Olympics of 1988, and two years later he picked up a bronze medal in the Team Time Trial at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, racing alongside Chris Boardman.

Significantly this season, these two elder statesmen of the sport have dropped down to second category level for the first time which means they can bring their wealth of experience to bear at events like the Cotswold League races on Sundays through the summer.

"Last season was our first with a road race team and we were simply putting in the footings," said Ride 24/7's  Dave Evans.

"But we have a three-year plan and we are quietly confident of doing well in the Cotswold League series, which has now been expanded to nine races, especially as Grant and Ben are eligible to race in them for the first time."

The team looked resplendent at the Chavenage House launch in their new kit from Santini Clothing, along with new bikes supplied for Wilier.

In addition, their sponsors include Steele Davis, OOMPH Marketing and Cirencester Friendly, JW Sports Performance, Diamond Sports Massage, Continental Tyres, High 5, Bont Shoes and Prendas.

24/7 Senior Team: Grant Bayton (rider/manager), Ben Luckwell, Charles Rees, Joe Barry, Michael Ward, Nick Watson, Billy Osmond, Gary Smith and Mitch Evans.

Youth Development Team: Brad Day, from Kemble, along with Matty Hodgeson, Will Matthews, Ben Hogan, Spencer Hughes, Ted Collyer, Joshua Price, Felix Wilkinson and Tom Hogan.

Ride 24/7 have also just launched a new fun ladies' ride, leaving their shop in The Woolmarket , at 10am each Saturday.

This will complement the existing Sunday morning and Tuesday night rides.

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