4th Season in the international junior peloton to be the last for successful junior squad.
After 4 seasons that have seen the team act as a springboard to professional cycling careers at national, continental and World Tour level, the HMT Academy will close its doors in September it has been announced today.
The team will bring the curtain down on 4 seasons in the international junior peloton on Sunday 3rd Sept at the UCI J1.1 La Philippe Gilbert in Belgium. The race is a fitting end to the lifecycle of the team, representing as it does, the scene of one of the biggest victories for the team in 2016.
Over the 4 years it has been in existence, the team has provided kit and funded the healthcare ,sports science, coaching and travel for an international programme of racing that has seen the team racing and winning across the continent including victories in Belgium, France and Spain.
Highlights for the team have included seeing its riders reach the podium at the World Championships (Ben Turner took 3rd place at the World Junior Cyclo-cross champs this year) and sign contracts in the World Tour (James Shaw progressed from the team to join Lotto-Soudal).
Whilst the team will not continue in 2018, HMT will continue to support the grass roots of cycling here in the UK with continued backing for British Cycling Go-Ride programmes close to its 2 main hospital sites in Grimsby and Swansea. The charity will also continue to sponsor the Monsal Head hill climb.
HMT Chief Executive Tony Barrett explained why the decision to re-focus its efforts in cycling on a more grass roots programme had been such a difficult, but necessary one for the charity.
“As a charity, one of HMT aims is to make a real difference in promoting and educating about healthy lifestyles and the team has tried to support and educate the riders to be good role models in that context. For some of the riders involved in our Go-Ride programmes, graduating to the academy has been a real aspiration too.
We hoped that along the route of our journey we might find other like minded partners to share the costs and benefits of this great adventure. That’s not come to pass though and along with the shift in the exchange rate between the Pound and the Euro, the operating costs of the team have increased beyond the reach of HMT. Whilst HMT could have pursued a much reduced race and support programme we felt that this would devalue the team and its aims.
We’re sad to stop the team for now, but we’re not turning our back on the sport. HMT has been looking after the physical well being of pro cyclists and investing in grass roots programmes for many years now and those parts of what we do as a charity will continue”
HMT would like to express its thanks to the riders who have carried our name with dedication and tenacity throughout the four years we’ve been in existence. We’d also like to thanks Mark Barry for his contribution to the success of the team as our Director Sportif throughout and Jon Sharples of Trainsharp and his team who have coached our riders to such success which we have no doubt will continue given the foundations they have been provided by Jon and his staff.. Finally, we thank Condor Cycles in particular the support that Grant Young and his staff have given the team as well as , Pro Vision, Cambrian Tyres, HIGH5, Blue Strawberry Elephant, Purple Mountain Media, Legros Training Camps, Leadout Consulting and KitBrix for everything they’ve done to help us achieve what we have since 2014.