UK’s youngest team quality for Tour of Britain

On Sunday, Jacob Scott crossed the line, arms aloft, at the South Coast Classic in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Any victory for a team is cause for celebration, but this one in particular was special. Paul Lamb, team owner of SwiftCarbon Procycling did not only cheer, he also breathed a sigh of relief – his fledgeling team had just qualified for OVO Energy Tour of Britain. After months of fighting through a season-long fiercely fought, knife-edge qualification system, the dream was real. 

 

With SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling’s victory, the team secured one of two remaining slots allocated for UK teams at the UCI World Tour race. “It’s such a great feeling, after years of planning and grafting, to be lining up at the UK’s most prestigious bike race. We are delighted to achieve this, especially in our inaugural season as a UCI Continental team.” Having outperformed teams with far bigger resources, Lamb has shown that there’s a whole heap of other important ingredients required. “It’s proof that teamwork, great morale, unity and having a clear plan and goals can overcome any weakness we might have,” said Lamb.  

 

The qualification process was been devised by SweetSpot Group, organisers of the Tour of Britain, and British Cycling, with consultation from competing teams. First introduced in 2016, the process establishes a fair and transparent selection of eligible British teams into the race. 

The lion’s share of the points was garnered by James Shaw (formerly of World Tour team Lotto-Soudal) who was brought on board in 2019 as team leader, and also as mentor to help in the development of the team’s younger riders. Ever professional and deferential, Shaw said, “I think we are all excited to be going to the race, after all it was all because of the dedicated and focused efforts of our boys.”

 

Having both performed consistently over the course of the season, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling’s and Team WIGGINS Le Col’s results in the South Coast Classic ensured that Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK nor Ribble Pro Cycling could no longer catch them in the qualification battle. They will join other UK teams Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes and Madison Genesis at the start line. 

Lamb effused, “I am so proud of the guys. They’ve already achieved so much, and it’s up to us to reaffirm that we have a rightful place in races at the highest level. James was top five at Tour de Yorkshire and we aim to do even better at Tour of Britain.”

 

At Tour of Britain the team will adopt the same strategy and attitude as at the Tour de Yorkshire, with both intermediate and long-term goals. That said, 8 days among UCI World Tour teams makes for a long race. “As cliched as it is, we’ll need to stay in the moment and take one day at a time. It’s the only way to race. I think we will again surprise a few people, said Lamb. “And from when this was all just an idea to now, this would not have been possible without the dedication of every one of our riders and staff and the support of our sponsors.”

 

 

Jake Scott rode his UltraVox SSL to victory. James Shaw has piloted a HyperVox for most of the season. Click the links to find out more about these acclaimed bikes.