Sporting Club Isle of Man (Sporting Club IOM) is launching men’s and women’s cycling teams under the team name ‘Cycling Club Isle of Man’, with the intention of competing in UK and international cycle races from 2021.
Well-known figures within Manx cycling, Andrew Roche and Gianni Epifani, are working with the support of the IOM Cycling Association and with Sporting Club IOM to put the teams together from the fantastic pool of local talent that the Isle of Man possesses.
Cycling is one sport where Isle of Man competitors have been competing at world levels for a number of years, and Cycling Club Isle of Man fully intend to exploit the legacy generated by the likes of Mark Cavendish, Peter Kennaugh, Steve Joughin and Marie Morgan (nee Noon).
Cycling Club Isle of Man will also be involved in developing the cycling teams’ own ‘EcoKit’, forming part of Sporting Club Isle of Man’s kit deal with Hope and Glory Sportswear.
Andrew Roche, on behalf of Cycling Club Isle of Man:
The establishment of Cycling Club Isle of Man promises to open up an excellent pathway into elite senior competition for homegrown riders. It also enables me to continue putting back into the sport.
We have had a really strong group of junior cyclists over the years, who’ve emerged through Dot Tilbury’s RL360 set-up. However once they leave the junior ranks these riders have had to look for teams in the UK or further afield. For some it’s been a successful step forward; but we’ve also lost a lot of talented riders due to not having a home-based team to facilitate a way to compete amongst the senior ranks.
Unfortunately, some of these riders then go on to leave the sport completely. With the anticipated Cycling Club Isle of Man team due to start competing next year, this development of a team structure and a clear pathway to compete at elite levels means that opportunities to develop to pro-elite will continue to be available to them.
I am particularly excited about the prospect of putting together a women’s team as I have been committed to growing women’s cycling at competitive levels for a number of years.
Tony Keating, Chair, Sporting Club Isle of Man:
This is another exciting development for Sporting Club Isle of Man and we are really looking forward to supporting Andrew in developing both men’s and women’s teams under the Cycling Club Isle of Man banner.
We will shortly be opening up our membership scheme, where fans of our teams, and indeed anyone with an interest in supporting Manx sport, will be able to take a stake in ensuring that our sportspeople and our Island can make an impact in elite competition.