February 3, 2009 – Boosting their roster from six to eight riders for 2009, Team Kinesis UK officially unveiled their exciting new line-up in front of supporters and sponsors alike at the Core Bike Show near Silverstone in Northamptonshire. Following on from an extremely successful season in 2008, focus has been switched from youth and instead firmly fixed on strength and depth in order to win as many podium places as possible at various races abroad and in the UK.
Steve Lampier, James Stewart, Rab Wardell, James Moss and Jack Pullar, plus new additions Alex Bhogal, from Toronto, and Vincent Veilleux, from Quebec, turned out in style at the Core Bike Show to meet fans and sponsors alike, including Reynolds, Fi’zi:k, Oval Concepts and Hope.
Kitted out in smart grey shirts and black ties emblazoned with their team’s logo, the seven riders – sadly, Matt Kipling had to miss out due to illness – and team manager, Chris Truett, spent the day chatting with supporters, posing for photos and picking the brains of even the most technically-minded of cycling buffs at Whittlebury Hall.
Despite not having one of the biggest budgets in the Premier Calendar, Kinesis UK has attracted a lot of interest from willing sponsors – thanks mainly to the friendly attitude and professionalism of their riders and the savvy organisation skills of Truett.
Chris Truett said: “Team Kinesis have come a long way over the last six years, evolving from an eight man junior squad to one of the premier teams in the UK.
“For 2009, I have put together another exciting group, increasing to eight strong riders, who will continue to aim high and push hard. “We will be building on our success from last year and will hopefully raise the standard for TKUK to the next level.
“My team will be mainly a premier/tour squad and will attend some national crits. We have a great race program again this year, with yet more invites to Europe, as well from overseas. “We will be doing some great races and tours, such as The Ras, Serbia, France, Quebec and Tobago. I am extremely happy and excited about the forthcoming season – and so too are the riders.
“The team will be aggressive and determined, more than ever, for top placings this year. We have more staff and backing behind us, as well as sponsors that are really supportive, which is great.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kinesis, Reynolds, Oval, Powerbar, Crantoni, Fi’zi:k, Hope, IceToolz and Halo clothing for making everything possible.”
Last year, in true ‘David and Goliath’ fashion, Truett’s band of merry men stole the limelight from the ‘big boys’ on more than one occasion – something that has seen a steady stream of his promising young riders moving onto bigger teams in the UK.
Among the recent graduates were Matt Cronshaw, who has since been snapped up by Rapha-Condor, James Sampson (CandiTV-Pinarello), Kit Gilham (Sigma-Sport) and Tom Last (Sigma-Sport).
‘Out with the old and in with the new’ has become something of a mantra at the Kinesis UK camp, but with every departing familiar face comes the arrival of unknown riders, bursting with potential and enthusiasm to show just what they can do in the peloton.
What is more surprising about the team is that none of the riders actually get any wages – nothing, not a bean. But every single member of the talented team that has passed through the squad over the last six years have signed for two reasons only – the camaraderie and desire to win. No other team in the country can boast a bond as strong as Kinesis – something which is at the very heart of their success and the team has built a reputation for shaping races, as well as being in every break.
Sponsor Dom Mason, who is creative designer director at Kinesis UK, said: “About six years ago, Chris approached us because he wanted help with his young mountain-biking team, so we provided him with race frames and everything went well.
“From there, we decided to setup a high profile road team because we had some new road frames, so we kind of built up from there.
“We have always been very successful. The main reason for our success is Chris. The bikes, frames and everything else is pretty secondary, but the strength of this team is Chris’ ability to manage it.
“From that point of view, we all know that we have not got an outrageous budget. We haven’t got Â£150,000 or Â£50,000, so Chris’ strength in running the team is priceless.
“Plus, we have always had riders who are very well presented, keen, and when they’re out in public, they’re brilliant ambassadors for Kinesis. “For instance, you read in magazines how the Kinesis team spoke to a father and son for half an hour before a race, that they were very polite, not pretentious, great ambassadors for cycling.
“From my point of view, that is way more important than winning podiums. Obviously, podiums are what the riders are after and I am sure that they are going to get many, many of them this year. But the whole presentation, the way the team behaves, that’s what we have always been about.
“There are other teams who are always moaning about the products that they’re using and are a bit grumpy. But we speak to Chris all the time and he is very enthusiastic. All the riders this year have worked very hard to get on the team, and it’s a very happy team at that.
“There are some high budget teams who are always grumpy, but that’s not the case at Kinesis. We have always played a major part in shaping a race, never stuck at the back and are always visible at the front and in all the right breaks. That’s always important.
“Last year was probably our most exciting year. We were in the press a lot and really pushed things. We almost had a win with Tom Last, who was only just beaten on the finish line when he put his arms in the air to celebrate prematurely, but that incident generated more press than just about anything else.
“In 2008, we didn’t have a great budget. But this year, Reynolds have come aboard as sponsors and provided the team with their fantastic wheels, which is great – it means that more money can be put back into the team.
“It will be a good season, we will definitely have fun and I don’t doubt that we will be on the podiums.
“Last season was very exciting and we had a real good profile, but what I am really looking forward to is seeing what these lads can really do against all the other teams who are on far greater budgets. That’s going to be the really interesting thing.
“When Chris and I first talked about setting up the team, we wanted to have a team to promote our brand and to bring up young, hopeful riders who had some talent, through the ranks, get them some visibility.
“In the UK, it’s very hard for young riders to progress, but we have been very successful at doing that and a lot of them have gone onto bigger teams. Obviously, it means that we lose some of our best riders, but that’s one of the main reasons that I do this – to move these young guys up.”
Sponsor Ty Daugherty, director of international sales at Reynolds, said: “We have worked with Kinesis UK for three seasons, this is our third season with them, and it was really to support Upgrade.
“It’s been a really good collaborator for us and to have a bike that’s unique in the peloton here, as well as have sponsors on the bike that make a difference for the team, that they can be proud of and work with them, that’s what’s important to us”.
Sponsor Morgan Nicol, owner of Oval Concepts, said: “We really look at our sponsorship as not just supplying the product for marketing purposes, but also to get feedback from the riders, how they use it, what type of suggestions they have for future product development, the touch points on the handlebars and the aero bars, what works for them and so on.
“Here in the UK, you have a kind of special environment that puts additional stresses on the riders and the equipment, so it’s great to get that feedback from the riders at Kinesis.”
Alex Bhogal (Toronto, Canada)
Team: Kinesis KUK
Previous Teams: University of Toronto MTB, www.mazurcoaching.com.
Alex said: “I started cycling on the University of Toronto MTB team for three years and then switched to road racing exclusively. “I’ve spent the last two seasons racing for one of the top regional clubs in Ontario, Canada, www.mazurcoaching.com.
“This will be my second year as a full-time cyclist. I had some promising results in 2008, with several podium finishes in events across North America.
“I was 19th overall in the USA Crits Speedweek series among many of the top US criterium riders. “I have also places well at NRC level events and I was ninth overall at Tour of Tobago in a support role for the eventual overall winner. My strengths are hard one-day races, as well as criteriums.”
Vince Veilleux (Quebec, Canada)
Team: Kinesis KUK
Previous Teams: Garneau Team, CIBC WOOD GUNDY Cycling Team, 2PEERS.com Pro Cycling Team
Vincent said: “I began cycling with a podium place at my very first race, when I was cadet and finished third.
“My first team was Garneau, where I spent two years as a cadet and first junior. After a very successful time with them, I decided to change for CIBC WOOD GUNDY Cycling Team, so that I could finish my junior with some major races and eight-stage tours to prepare me for elite and pro races.
“During my first year as an elite (U-23s), I was extremely happy with my progress. I competed in lots of race and made starting line of a UCI 2.2 Tours (Tour de Beauce). Sadly, I didn’t manage to complete the first stage after I was involved in a crash.
“From there, I was racing for 2PEERS.com Pro Cycling Team during 2008 and was very happy, but I decided to make the move to Team Kinesis UK because I want to become stronger.
“I have always dreamed of racing in Europe, which is the home of real cycling. I also decided on Kinesis because I believe their manager, Chris Truett, can help me a great deal in improving my racing style, as well as helping both him and my team to win more races.
“I am planning to race the Vuelta Costa Rica. Not to win, but because I am not in racing shape that I’d like to be right now, so it will be mainly to prepare for 2009.
“I am normally a very serious person about preparation for races anyway, but this year I have more determination and focus than ever before.”
Team Kinesis UK 2009 with sponsors Dom Mason (Kinesis), Ty Daugherty (Reynolds), Morgan Nicol (Oval Concepts) and Nicolo Mannoni (Fi’zi:k) All photos by James Maloney (email@example.com)