All the Teams I've been in

Southport CC Team Kit

Southport Cycling Club, 2001-

It had become apparent that I wasn't going to hit the big time, and that Tour de France place just wasn't happening, so I joined my local club. I had got married and started working full time and travelling the country riding every Premier Calendar race was no longer as attractive as it had been.

Besides, Southport CC is a very good club, and it has been great being able to do local events with my clubmates. There is no pressure for results so I can take the early part of the season very steadily and avoid burning myself out before the hill climb season in October. Click here for the club's website.

Terry Wright Cycles RT Kit

Terry Wright Cycles Raleigh Racing Team, 1999-2000

Winning the National Hill Climb and getting myself an Elite category road racing licence helped secure me a place in the sponsored Terry Wright Cycles team for 1999 and 2000. The organisational skills of Dave Stanbridge put together a strong team and supported us with mechanic and team car in all the Premier Calendar road races. We also did a couple of trips to Holland and Belgium to get a hammering at the hands of the development squads of pro teams like Saeco and Rabobank. We certainly looked the part with matching Raleigh bikes, Endura team kit, Specialized helmets and Diadora shoes. Team-mates included Andy Lyons and brothers Steve and Paul Dring. By 2000 I had left college and started working full-time and despite two good hill climb championships my results on the road were never really as good as 1998 and I did not re-sign for the team when it became the Stilton Road Team in 2001.

Oxford University CC Team Kit

Oxford University Cycling Club, 1994-1998

My first club. I was introduced to racing after a winter of club runs on the idyllic lanes of the Cotswolds and Chilterns. At OUCC I had a go at most cycling disciplines - mountain biking, cyclo cross, time trials, track and road racing. Highlights were winning the national hill climb to bring OUCC its first national title for 100 years, and two Full Blues (cycling is only a Half Blue sport and being awarded a Full Blue is a real achievement). I also won British Universities Championships in the hill climb (three times), 50- and 100-mile time trials. I benefited enormously from training with Canadian national road champion Mat Anand for the year that he was in Oxford.

British Universities Sports Association Team Kit

British Universities Sports Association, 1997-1998

I was lucky to be at university when Steve Calland, former GB road team rider, was managing the British Universities road squad. We rode many Premier Calendar stage races in two busy years, including the Tour of Lancashire 4-day, the Girvan 3-day and Procam 2-day. Steve's advice on training and tactics brought me on from struggling to finish a Premier at the start of 1997 to fifth on a stage of the Lancs and seventh in the Tour of the Peak by the end of 1998. From the left, this picture is of me, Steve Dring and Rob English.

Adidas Scicon Team Kit

Adidas Scicon, 1997

I rode just one race for Adidas, the Boucles de L'Essonne stage race near Paris over a long weekend before Easter. At the time the team was arguably the best in Britain and riding with them taught me an incredible amount in a very short time. The team was managed by John Herety, now Great Britain team manager, who as a professional had himself ridden races like Paris-Roubaix. The best-placed team member in the race was 2000 Olympic medallist Paul Manning (second from right) who won the final time trial stage and came third overall. From the left of the photo, the team is Ross Muir, Glen Holmes, Phil West, Andy Wilkinson, me, Paul Manning and John Herety.

West Thames Division, 1997

Another short guest appearance was for the five-stage Tour of Warwickshire over the Whit Bank Holiday weekend in 1997. To encourage team riding the organiser only accepted entries in teams of three and I was joined by Dave Oakley and Jeremy Crook. Dave taught me a lot about race tactics and introduced me to stove-top coffee makers. Colin Mann ran the team in exemplary fashion. He sorted out the accommodation, evening meals in an Italian restaurant, gave us musettes straight after the stages and had the most enormous roofrack I have ever seen in my life.

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