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David Walters introduces Performance Cycles CMI U23 Team, a new team for Bikefood in 2012.

“The young riders of Performance Cycles CMI U23 team were presented to the media over the last weekend; two great day’s weather either side of a brutally cold road race…

The 5 riders; Todd Hotchkiss, Al Murison, Jack Reed, Luke Dunbar and Conor Ryan, assembled in the Cotswolds HQ of title sponsor Performance Cycles to chat, discuss the upcoming season, as well as show off their fabulous Kuota Kebel bikes. In an informal gathering the boys joked about the use of fake tan for early season races, the merits of various brands of sunglasses and the usual banter associated with young, hungry riders. To end the session, a short spin around the local road race course was ideal for a few action shots and more banter (and half-wheeling).

On the Sunday, the boys were down to ride the local-ish Severn Bridge Road Race, the first outing of the season, a chance to test the legs against a very good quality field. Conor attacked 1st time up the hill, easily winning the hill prime and forcing a split in the bunch. Unfortunately, a rider came across him and chopped his front wheel from under him, ending his race right there (and a pair of spanking new shorts). Al was unfortunate to puncture after only 3 miles..and with no neutral service, again ending his efforts for the day. However, Todd was upholding honour with a solid, measured ride in appalling conditions. Despite missing the decisive 9 man break, which was driven by one of the country’s best riders and eventual winner- Marcin Bialoblocki, Todd rode strongly in the final 20km, coming in alone and well ahead of the bunch in a creditable 12th place.

The following day, the weather was once again clear, sunny and dry as it had been on Saturday, as the boys gathered in the Forest of Dean for a promotional ride for Cycling Weekly. A 30 mile spin around the Forest soon had the boys questioning where all the flat roads were.. local lad Jack had planned the route around his training roads, and a new found respect for Jack’s climbing talent was found. Some great photos were shot for publication in Britain’s oldest cycling publication, showing off all the brands associated with the squad for 2012, with plenty of yellow Bikefood bottles to the fore. A great weekend’s fun, PR and pain. Loads more to follow in this busy, busy season.”

Many thanks to David Walters for his words and photographs.