Rapha Condor line up for 2013 - 01/11/12

After a successful first year as a development team, Rapha Condor will be maintaining its focus on helping to progress young riders with an even more youthful line up for 2013.

Team manager John Herety has retained the services of two of his star riders who helped make 2012 a memorable year for the men in black. World Team Pursuit Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Ed Clancy will once again be looking for success on the road with Rapha Condor after his incredible performances on the track in 2012. After enjoying some important victories with the team in the past five years Tour of Britain King of the Mountains, and former National Road Race Champion Kristian House has also confirmed he will stay put for 2013.

Kristian House’s attacking riding enlivened the Tour of Britain and netted him and the team an important win in the Skoda King of the Mountains competition.

2012 marked an important shift of direction for Rapha Condor Sharp when they outlined the team’s new focus on developing talented young riders. After a year of mixed success the team are pleased that the core of the 2012 squad will also remain largely the same.

John Herety commented:

“Overall I was happy with the riders progress this year. Mike Cuming’s National U23 title was the cherry on the cake, but what was important for me to see were the much smaller improvements our riders were making throughout the year. Development is a slow burn, and it takes a long time to see how riders in a very young group like this will progress.”

“Most of the riders we took on last year hadn’t even been part of a team environment, and some had come straight out of the Juniors, so we had to go right back to the basics. When I look at the performances in that light it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to see what we have achieved. I am looking forward to seeing what this group will be able to do next year.”

2012 Irish National Criterium Champion, Felix English will be one of the core group of young riders Herety retains for 2013.

Alongside the established stars and four young riders who will remain with the team, Herety has added four new fresh young faces to the line up.

Hugh Carthy and Will Stephenson, who recently finished first and second in the Junior Tour of Wales, both step up to the team directly from the Junior ranks.

Herety has been tracking the two 18 year-olds throughout the season.

“Hugh and Will have both been on my radar for some time. Hugh in particular is local to me, and I had already spoken to him early in the year about whether or not he should go to France to race as an amateur in 2013. He has shown with his Junior Tour of Wales win that he has an engine, and our team is trying to provide an alternative to the make or break system that exists in Europe. I am personally very happy that he made the decision to come here, as he is a prime example of the kind of rider that we want in this development program.”

Another new signing for the team is Aaron Buggle from Meath in Ireland. A former Irish U23 TT champion who has competed internationally for Ireland will no doubt bolster the team’s strength in international stage races.

The fourth new face in the team will be Elliot Porter. Porter is the son of double Olympian Maria Blower-Porter and Norwegian former professional Jaanus Kuum. Porter has only been racing for two years, but after an impressive adaption to the sport he has been identified as a rider with great potential for the future.

Dean Downing has been a prominent figure for the team for the past six seasons.

The big departure from the team is Rapha Condor stalwart Dean Downing, who has been with the men in black since 2007 and whose absence will no doubt be felt amongst the team. John Herety commented:

“As we continue along the path towards being more of a development squad the balance between the number of older riders and younger ones will inevitably change. Dean has been an exemplary member of this team for a long time and he played an important part in helping the young guys find their feet in 2012. We all wish him the best for 2013.”

Pending further announcements the team line up for 2013 is as follows:

Further good news has come for the team and riders this week with the signing of a second title-sponsor. An announcement regarding this exciting new partnership for the team will be made shortly.