UK team Plowman Craven announced the launch of their seven-man racing team today that sees evergreen former Vuelta a España points winner and Tour de France rider, Malcolm Elliott, back for another season of racing. The team will ride a mostly domestic program, taking in Premier Calendar events and the national circuit series, with the new national track series being a firm target.
Continuing their long-term support of local rider Tony Gibb, the other members include: Gibb's close friend and three-time national Madison champion partner James Taylor; South Africans Wesley Cole and Craig Butland (who both rode for Plowman Craven in the Surrey 5 Day last year); plus talented youngsters Tom Smith and national junior road race champion, Adam Norris.
Phil Griffiths will sponsor the team with Opera bikes, Giordana Clothing, Rudy Project accessories, DMT shoes and M.O.st components. Michelin will be supplying tyres and Trevor Madden at Ciclos Uno will continue to help the team. Plowman Craven, who are recognised as one of the world's leading and most innovative geomatics companies, have also obtained sponsorship from their major equipment supplier Leica Geosystems.
Said managing director of Plowman Craven, Simon Barnes: "I have found that sponsoring Tony Gibb over the last four years has been a good PR move. The new seven man team will be a publicity vehicle for my fast moving company and whilst Malcolm, Tony and James are already multi national champions, Adam and Tom will benefit from the mentoring of the more experienced riders. Wesley and Craig enjoyed their racing in the UK in 2005 and are keen to make their mark in the UK this year."
The official team launch will be at the end of February with team building events taking place early in the month. The team's first race is the Eddie Soens Memorial Race at Aintree, where Gibb aims to become only the second rider to win the event four times.