Rapha Condor the UK's top ranked pro team have unveiled their 2009 line-up and the accent is very much building on the team's strengths as they seek to progress to the next level.
Joining established riders Olympic bronze medallist Chris Newton, National Criterium champion Dean Downing and Tour of Britain star Kristian House, are a number of accomplished professionals. British rider Simon Richardson, fourth in last year's premier calendar riding for Plowman Craven has already been marked down by many as a future star his presence in the new line up underlines the teams ambitions. Richardson is joined by Lancashire rider Ben Greenwood and Tim Southam. Australian road racing champ Darren Lapthorne brings some overseas experience to the squad and does Namibian rider Dan Craven who currently leads the UCI's Africa Tour.
The team are also planning for the future with the signing of promising youngsters of Rhys Lloyd, Matt Cronshaw, Liam Holohan and Mike Rudling.
Rapha Condor will be racing both in the UK and undertaking an international program of races too. Over here expect to see them in the Circuit Race Series, Grand Prix and Premier Calendar races. Their overseas schedule includes he Tour of Ireland; Tour of Japan; Tour de New York; Giro del Capo; Tour de Qinghai Lake; and returning back home, the Tour of Britain.
Wherever they race, Rapha Condor will not be turning up to make make up the numbers says Directeur Sportif John Herety:
“Expect to see the same style and swagger,…but you’ll [also] see a harder, more ruthless team racing this year. It’s time for us to get noticed and not just for being cool.
“The prospect of taking the team all over the world has motivated me even more to get the best I possibly can from these riders. The Tour of Britain will be a big target for us this year, with the team looking for a stage win at least. Other teams should be warned, this team has riders capable of winning just about every race we enter.”
Rapha Condor Bike
This year's Rapha Condor team bike is a modified prototype of Condor’s standard Leggero. The new design has been tested under race conditions and boasts a frame made from a combination of tubes; from Dedacciai and from Condor’s Italian frame builder. Each frame is hand made in Italy and custom built for each rider.
Frame: Condor High Modulus Carbon tubes, custom specified, individually custom built and hand- wrapped with carbon layers for each rider. Now with stiffer tubes and oversized bottom head cup
for increased rigidity at the front end.
Fork: monocoque carbon
Groupset: Full Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 groupset
Wheels: Shimano Carbon deep section wheelsets
Tyres: Continental Grand Prix
Saddle: Fizik Arione saddles, custom made for the team.
Bar tape: Fizik pro edition
Handlebars: Deda Elementi Newton handlebars
Stem: Zero 100 Service Corse
Seat post: Condor Carbon
Bottle cages: Elite ,
Water bottles: SiS
The team bike specification will be exclusively available to Rapha Condor Club members.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.