Providing a route to the top for Cornwall’s talented cyclists
Among the thousands of avid riders on the roads of Cornwall are the bike racing stars of the future. But cycling is one of the toughest of all sports, hugely demanding both physically and mentally. Add in the distances that Cornish cyclists have to travel to compete in national events, and making a career in the sport is very challenging for local riders.
Saint Piran is developing local talent, putting Cornwall on the cycling map
Saint Piran was set up four years ago to overcome these challenges. As Cornwall's first and only 'Elite' level cycling team, our mission is to provide talented Cornish cyclists with a route to the top of the sport while helping to promote local cycling from the grassroots level up.
At the top of the Saint Piran ‘pyramid’, the Elite Team gives riders the chance to be part of a highly professional organisation, participating in races across the country and on the Continent. Promising local athletes no longer have to move away to forge a career in cycling – they can develop their skills and progress in the sport while remaining Cornwall based. We also harness the talents of non-Cornish riders, drawing on expertise from across the UK to bring ‘best practice’ into the county.
We’re identifying promising riders and reaching down into the community
Below the Elite Team, the Saint Piran Development Team identifies and nurtures promising riders with the potential to step up to the higher level. Development riders fly the flag for Saint Piran locally, competing in races across Cornwall and the south west. We are also building a ladies’ team to nurture the wealth of talent among local women riders.
Underpinning it all, Saint Piran Cycling consists of keen amateur racers and social riders who provide an important support base for the aspiring professionals. Many elite sports teams are cut off from the community, but this is another way in which Saint Piran is different to the rest.
Saint Piran has already come a long way, and we have big plans for the future
Saint Piran’s Elite Team has already made its mark on the British road-racing scene. We participate in the HSBC Road Series, the UK’s premier road racing event that takes place over 10 rounds around the UK from April to August.
The team also took a further big step up in 2019, receiving an invitation to compete in the eight stage Ovo Energy Tour Series. The competition featured the cream of British cycling talent and received extensive TV coverage in the UK and 100 other countries. Saint Piran beat the other Elite category team and finished ahead of one of the higher ranked Continental teams, while Steve Lampier won the points champion jersey. Saint Piran is already making waves in the sport.
2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the team
For the 2020 season, key riders have been retained, while a combination of new talent, established racers and wise old heads have been added.
Cameron Jeffers remains with the team after making an impact in last year’s Ovo Energy Tour Series. New to the team this season is Chris Opie, a man with huge experience in the sport and a high profile thanks to a spell at the Global Cycling Network, helping to raise Saint Piran’s profile dramatically in 2020. Ed Laverack is a former British U23 Road Race Champion and the 2019 British Hill Climb Champion.
The Team Principal is Richard Pascoe, a former professional racer and a well known name on the Cornish and national cycling scene. Directeur Sportif, Colin Sturgess, is a former Olympian with World Pursuit and British Road Race Championships, and a Commonwealth Games silver medal to his name.
Alongside this top-level mentoring and training, riders are provided with the state-of-the-art racing bikes and clothing required to compete at this level. In short, they have the tools they need to achieve success.
We are developing long-term sustainable revenue channels
We have a full programme of races planned for 2020, which requires substantial financial resources.
Saint Piran is developing a new, more sustainable financial structure. Cycling teams typically depend on a single large sponsor, leaving them vulnerable to withdrawal of support. But we want Saint Piran to stand on its own feet, underpinned by three revenue streams:
1. Sponsorship partnerships with a number of local and national businesses to spread the risk.
2. We are building a range of Saint Piran branded products to provide long-term cash flow for the team. The Saint Piran brand has been applied to several locally manufactured products – including cider, biscuits, coffee and ice cream - and other items will be launched imminently.
3. We are seeking grants to support Saint Piran’s elite level riders, the development riders coming up through the ranks and the work with local organisations to promote cycling in Cornwall. Sustainability and community involvement are the key in all this.
Crowdfunding will support the 2020 racing season
The purpose of this crowd funding exercise is to help to underpin Saint Piran’s activity until those other funding sources become sufficiently well established. The proceeds will help to meet the cost of training and competing for the rest of this season.
To be clear, though, nobody in Saint Piran is sitting back expecting success to be handed to them on a plate. Fitting their training and racing around the jobs they do to support themselves and their dreams, our riders are far removed from the cliché of the pampered professional sportsman. They undertake round trips of hundreds of miles to compete in top-level races, often returning in the early hours of the morning to snatch a few hours of sleep before heading off to their day jobs. You won’t find a more dedicated group of athletes anywhere.
Join us in our mission to make Cornwall a cycling powerhouse!
We are going to put Cornwall even more firmly on the national cycling map, giving Cornish people something to be proud of and offering a route for talented young riders to fulfil their dreams.
We look forward to the day when a Cornish cyclist, clad in a jersey bearing the Saint Piran flag, lifts his arms in the air on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, celebrating victory in the Tour de France. Crazy? Well, in Cornwall we’re not frightened of big challenges. In the words of Robert Kennedy; “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘why?’ I dream things that never were and say, ‘why not?’”
Come on board. Be part of our journey. Share our dreams…