Guest Blog: The Wightlink-LCM Systems Race Team

Thanks to Jack Elton-Walters, one of my team mates from the Isle of Wight, who has put together this fantastic post to mark the launch of the new Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team; which I unfortunately was not able to attend as I am mid-term at university at present.
The team is a group of young, enthusiastic riders, who are looking forward to an exciting 2013 with some fantastic local support...

What is now the Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team has had several names and quite a few personnel changes, but with the founders and key members remaining throughout. Started in 1995 and believed to be the single longest continuous sponsorship deal with Wightlink, the team was at its previous prime in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but is undergoing a rejuvenation with new riders, new sponsors, new kit and renewed big ambitions.

The 2013 Season
Targets and events are varied this year depending on each team member’s race category and personal goals, but all will be done with the greater good of the team in mind. Early in the season will see Kev Foster and myself – the team’s only remaining 4th category riders – visiting Pompey Track on a regular basis to get more race experience and capture those all important points.

Beyond this, we have Matt Tibbutt entering the ever-gruelling PERFS and the rest of the team gearing up for an assault on the higher category races at Pompey Track and beyond. The key medium term aim for many of our riders – notably Sam, Jimmer and Team Captain James – is to get established in the Surrey League road races, in particular the Easter Three Day. 

The team has a breadth of experience and there are wide ranging strengths to our riders. To give an idea, here’s a run down of some key members:
Simon Ambrosini – Ambro – a long-term member is an excellent time triallist and great super domestique: he’ll be putting these skills to good use for himself and the team. Jimmer is a very strong rider and will look to carry James to the finish of the Surrey League races, where James can unleash his powerful sprint. Another great sprinter is Sam, who this year will ride as key lead-out man for James, and look to collect results of his own along the way. Tim – this blog’s host – is a strong and canny climber, thanks in no small part to his years of mountain biking, and he’ll no doubt favour the hillier road races, and of course those day long breakaways. He will also make a great pace setter for other riders, a skill the team will use to gain results.

The Sponsors
LCM Systems are a Newport, Isle of Wight, based firm specialising in load cell technologies. Serving markets from yachting to aerospace to oil and gas, providing lifting and loading solutions, they are growing well despite doom and gloom elsewhere in the economy. Wanting to better publicise their brand and get involved with something that offered dynamic advertising, LCM Systems jumped at the chance to be the team’s new headline sponsor.

Wightlink are an integral part of Island life and we are very pleased to welcome them on board as a key sponsor for the eighteenth year in a row. They provide the team with a transport lifeline, without which we wouldn't be able to get over to England to race.

JA Dempsey Civil Engineering is a well known company that carries out essential works all across the Island. Whether that’s the smallest pothole or a huge infrastructure project, they've got it covered. They got involved with the team by funding the off-the-bike clothing, a move that allows them to have their logo seen all round the South of England as we travel to and from races.

Rapanui, Isle of Wight based eco fashion brand and Isle of Wight Business of the Year, delivered the off-the-bike clothing that JA Dempsey kindly funded. Bringing ethically produced jackets and organic cotton polo shirts – all custom branded for the team – Rapanui were glad to get involved with the team’s renewed ambitions.

The Team Launch
The most exciting part of the new launch was undoubtedly the new kit, which was supplied to us by Primal, who are experts in top quality performance cycle wear. Thanks to the funding from LCM Systems, we were able to get a full set of jerseys, bib shorts, a winter jacket and a skinsuit for every team rider; all of which is made by cyclists for cyclists meaning the kit is race fit and made from material that wicks moisture away. I myself took care of the aesthetic appearance of the kit. As is evident, I took inspiration from some of the pro teams we all strive to emulate but also worked to best use the brand colours of our sponsors and incorporate the bold yellow block colour that has always been present in the team’s kit, whilst modernising the look. I was very pleased with the end results, and so far have only heard positive feedback on the design… fingers crossed it continues that way!

All in all the team is set for a great year and some great results, I just can’t wait to get racing. 

Please show your support for the team and give them a follow on Twitter: @WightlinkRT and on Facebook: WightlinkRT.


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