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Major new sponsor adds strength, depth and youth to the team.

HerbaLife and Wheelbase have launched a new, fresh and exciting team they hope will become a high profile contender in the UK’s road racing scene.

The North West-based HerbaLife/WHEELBASE.co.uk team held their launch ceremony in Lancashire at the weekend to a crowd of 60 supporters, sponsors and family members.

The hope is to build on the WHEELBASE.co.uk team’s established track-record of wins in the cyclo-cross category by adding some major road race successes, thanks to the addition of a new group of under 23s.

HerbaLife/WHEELBASE.co.uk is the result of a two-year vision by team managers Geoff Newcombe and Neil Taylor to bring together the best of experienced and new road racing talent from the North West of England, which benefits from a big race scene.

“The North West is a hotbed of cycling talent and we knew we could easily develop a team which could challenge the top squads on the National circuit,” says Newcombe, who in 2004 and 2005 co-managed the all-conquering Recycling/MGX Power Road Racing Team with Phil Leigh.

“It’s taken over 18 months to get here but we’ve done it and we’ve got the start of something which is going to turn a few heads this season,” he says.

Toby Dalton, director of Wheelbase, told road.cc: “Over the last two years we’ve been putting a lot into our team. We’ve been getting very good results in CycloCross. We’ve got a particularly strong rider Rob Jebb, who’s a seven-time winner of the Three Peaks CycloCross Race, an epic event said to be one of the world’s toughest.

“In road races you need a team with depth, so linking up with the HerbaLife team has made us bigger and deeper. We bring the experience and they’re bringing the youth. It’s a nice combination and we’re hoping for big things.”

The new team will compete at National Premier Calendar races and the Elite Crit series.

HerbaLife Independent Distributors Martyn and Karen Farmer will bring their expertise in sports nutrition to the new team. Wheelbase has continued its relationship with high-end USA cycle manufacturer Cannondale to provide a handmade full carbon fibre Cannondale SuperSix DuraAce road bike for each rider. And the team will receive full support from sports physiotherapy and injury clinic The Body Rehab.

Clothing will be provided by Gore Bike Wear and spare wheels by French wheel manufacture Mavic.

The team consists of; Stuart Reid (Captain), Dillon Byrne, Lewis Craven, Ashley Finn, Andrew Hawdon, Jonathan Knox, Callum Nicholson and Damian Smith and Josh Varty.

Picture credit: Dave MacFarlane